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Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia cops fight illegal World Cup betting

May 20, 2010
Kicks Betting

With just a couple of weeks remaining until World Cup 2010 kicks off in South Africa, law enforcement agencies all over the world are getting ready for a potentially unprecedented amount of illegal gambling. Recently, police chiefs and other lawmen have been announcing their plans for cracking down on such activities in their home countries.

People’s Daily: HK police to intensify crackdown on illegal football betting, drink driving during World Cup

Tsang Tak-sing, Hong Kong’s secretary for the Home Affairs Bureau, stated this week that Hong Kong police would be intensifying law enforcement against both illegal betting and drink driving while the World Cup is being played. The Organized Crime and Triad Bureau is coordinating the efforts of the various regional agencies involved in the operation.

Hong Kong police have reportedly also been watching Internet gambling activity and are employing “cyber patrols” in an effort to fight illegal football betting online. Law enforcement actions may even take place outside of Hong Kong, should sufficient evidence be gathered linking such non-domestic websites to appealing to Hong Kong citizens.

Tsang also reported that Hong Kong police had arrested seven people in four different raids, with illegal gambling activities involved worth over HK$550,000 (approximately $70,500) in the first three months of this year.

Jakarta Post: Police on lookout for gambling ahead of Cup

Jakarta police authorities have announced their intensification of Internet surveillance in order to stop alleged online gambling, going so far as to monitor Facebook and other social networking sites.

Explained Jakarta police spokesman Sr. Commander Boy Rafli Amar, “We will find out whether virtual poker games played on social networking sites … involve gambling.”

In early May, two websites – IBCbet.com and Casino.SBObet.com – were shut down and their owner arrested on charges of illegally providing casino games and sports betting within Indonesia. The sites were thought to be making some $55,500 per day before the police action.

Bernama: Police To Combat Illegal Betting During World Cup

In Malaysia, local law enforcement agency CID has formed a distinct unit to deal specifically with illegal betting on the World Cup outcome and individual game results. Having just recently legalized gambling in the country, Malaysian police will now be concentrating on the unlicensed operators.

CID Chief Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin stated that even though the Malaysian government had issued gaming licenses to allow legal wagering during the 2010 World Cup, illegal betting syndicates will certainly take the opportunity to rake in profits illegally. “Anyone found betting or accepting such bets will be charged,” said Bakri, “and that also includes online betting.”

Bakri also stated that his taskforce would be looking for various forms of betting, as syndicates would devise many forms of betting in order to attract gamblers. He added that CID officers have already accumulated a list of suspects and probable operating locations in Malaysia.

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Gambling Convicts Escape Prior to Caning in Indonesia

Feb 02, 2010
Caning for gambling in Indonesia

Four men were caught playing dominoes in Indonesia and sentenced to 6 canings each on behalf of their sins. The first of the 4 men were publicly caned, but the other 3 escaped prison and fled before they were punished.

The Washington Post: Indonesian gambling convicts escape before caning

Three Indonesian men convicted for gambling escaped imprisonment just before a public caning in the Muslim province, Aceh. Muhammad Rusli, the Local Islamic police chief, said the men fled Saturday during an unguarded bathroom visit minutes before being punished.

The men were caught playing dominoes for 1,000 rupiah ($0.10) per game. They were each to be caned six times at a mosque on Friday.

Aceh banned alcohol and gambling as it adopted Islamic law, after achieving semi-autonomy from the secular central government after a decades-long civil war.

The Jakarta Post: One whipped, three escape corporal punishment

With a Sharia police escort, Syahrul bin Muhammad limped to stage. He was about to receive a public caning as punishment in front of a mosque in Jantho city, Aceh Besar regency, on Friday. Syahrul was one of four arrested for gambling and scheduled to be punished.

He was unlucky. The other three suspects escaped the detention cell at the prosecutor’s office, 15 minutes before they were to be caned.

The four were caught gambling in the village one month ago. They were immediately taken to the public order and Sharia police headquarters together with Rp 100,000 (US$11) in cash and a pack of domino cards as evidence. On Thursday, each was sentenced to six lashes of the cane.

Rusli denied allegations that the detention center’s officers were bribed. He blamed the escape on the officers’ negligence, saying the three suspects escaped after making an excuse to use the bathroom. He learned of the escape just before Friday prayers and ordered his men to comb the city, but the search was fruitless. He promised they will be punished if caught.

MSN News: Rights groups slam caning in Indonesia’s Aceh

Islamic Caning in Indonesia’s Aceh province is a “systematic human rights violation” and is against state law, according to a national human rights group. The group, Kontras, calls for the local administration to “annul physical criminalization” and revise its Islamic legal code. Kontras said laws in the semi-autonomous Aceh shouldn’t work against Indonesia’s international treaty obligations.

Activists noted the province’s Sharia regulations were being applied selectively and affected the poor most. They claimed that rich businessman would never be caned for gambling.

The caned farmer was one of four men who were arrested in December after betting up to 1,000 rupiah (11 cents) on dominoes. The others escaped punishment but he received six strokes of the cane outside on Friday.

This issue is another blow to the Sharia police in Aceh after three officers were charged with gang-raping a woman in custody last month.

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