Over the past two weeks, 80 people, including 24 women, were arrested as part of a crackdown on illegal gambling in Sarawak, one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo.

Local news agency, New Straits Times, reports that the 80 suspected gamblers and gambling den workers were apprehended up from 45 locations state-wide. The individuals were reportedly between 16 and 73 years of age.

The news agency reports that Datuk Dev Kumar, Chief of the Sarawak Criminal Investigation Department, said that during the operation, upwards of RM11,000 in cash, 20 computers and laptops, and half a dozen live roosters were seized. The operation began on May 29.

The New Straits Times cited Dev as saying: “A total of 52 people were arrested when our men conducted 42 raids against illegal lottery (4D). A raid was also conducted at an illegal cyber gambling den in Permyjaya, Miri, which resulted in the arrest of 18 people. Six people were arrested at a cock-fighting pit in Batu Niah, while four others were picked up for playing ‘Holo’ at a public place in Miri.”

According to the report, all suspects believed to be associated with the illegal gambling operation will be investigated under the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953, which was enacted relating to the suppression of common gaming houses, public gaming, and public lotteries.

Between April 17 and 23, Dev’s men conducted 26 raids across the state, which resulted in 37 individuals being arrested. Twenty-four of the 26 raids, were conducted on illegal four-digit (4D), a lottery in Singapore and Malaysia, gambling operations, located mostly in the Kuching and Padawan areas.

Located on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo, in the capital city of Kuching, the Sarawak region has proved to be the most popular for online gambling sites in Malaysia.   

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