Betting ring in Malaysia raked in $1B

April 6, 2012

A soccer betting and fraud ring busted in Malaysia may have raked in up to $1.3 billion, police said Friday, after an operation that saw more than 100 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals arrested.

Police conducted the raid in the city of Kajang, near the capital Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday, in the latest case to indicate rampant illegal sports betting in Asia.

The apparently highly-organized and well-funded ring operated for a month from several luxury properties in an upscale gated community "home to several ministers and former cabinet members," The Star Newspaper reported.

A preliminary examination of the ring's records indicate it may have taken in nearly four billion ringgit ($1.3 billion) in bets and fraudulent income over that period, Kajang police chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Wahab told AFP.


Abdul Rashid updated the number of those arrested to 150 - up by a dozen from an initial figure - including five Malaysians. All the others were from China and Taiwan, and the foreigners included 58 women.

"The gambling and scam activities were carried out by the foreigners. The locals were just cooks and food delivery people. It is an international syndicate," he said.

Abdul Rashid said the group took bets on English Premier League games, organized other forms of online gambling, and had been communicating with criminal syndicates in Mexico.

But he added those contacts were still being investigated and he had no further information on who was behind organizing such a large operation.

Abdul Rashid said the group also carried out internet scams that sought to obtain the credit card numbers of people in China, Taiwan and Portugal.