In a decisive response to unregulated gambling, Malaysia detained almost 2,000 individuals. Termed ‘Special Op Dadu’, the initiative, running from 22 September to 5 October, is an unmistakable sign of Malaysia’s commitment to preserving the legitimacy of its gambling environment.
During the operation, Malaysian officials confiscated items that had been employed in these unlawful gambling activities, which encompassed cash, computing tools, and mobile devices. The total worth of the confiscated goods equated to RM 13,000 (around $2750) for internet gambling, and a staggering RM 680,000 ($143,808) for unauthorized lottery enterprises.
Who’s Behind Bars?
The arrest demographics presented by Shuhaily Zainthe, of the Criminal Investigations Department at Bukit Aman headquarters, were varied. Men made up a substantial 1,599 of those detained, with the remaining 272 being women. Their ages spanned from 20 to 60 years. Many were reportedly connected to public lotteries and the procurement of lottery tickets. Legal proceedings have started for numerous detainees, while further investigations are still in the pipeline.
Regarding the operation, Zainthe remarked: “As of 5 October, a total of 382 investigation papers involving online gambling and illegal lottery were solved and charged in court.”
Previous Year vs. Now
Compared to smaller operations in 2022, Special Op Dadu has taken a leap in scale and intensity. Such operations not only bolster the position of licensed operators but also invigorate Malaysia’s recovery post-COVID, luring tourists to flagship establishments like Genting Malaysia.
With the dark shadow of unregulated gambling affecting mostly locals, upholding stringent regulations becomes pivotal to maintain investor confidence. It’s hoped that operations like Special Op Dadu will act as a deterrent for unscrupulous operators, signaling a brighter future for Malaysia’s gambling landscape. It also underscores the need for strong collaboration between law enforcement agencies to uphold rules and shield Malaysians from illegal gambling entities. Given the deep roots of the illegal gambling market, such initiatives confirm that positive transformation is underway.
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