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Johor targetting illegal gambling premises

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Owners of premises where illegal gambling activities are carried out will be blacklisted for a year as the state government goes all out to eradicate the growing problem.

Johor Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Latiff Bandi (pic) said that owners of such premises will have to hold some responsibility in ensuring that their premises are not used for illegal activities.

“Firstly, we will cut off electricity and water supply to the premises found to be conducting illegal activities for a year before the owner is allowed to appeal for the utilities to be restored.

“If it involves a shop lot, owners will also be barred from renewing the licenses to carry out any kind of business at the premises for the same period of time,” he said in a press conference after the Johor state assembly sitting on Thursday.

He also said that a task force involving various agencies including the police, district offices, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Syarikat Air Johor, has been formed to overcome the illegal gambling issue.

“Chaired by State Secretary Datuk Ismail Karim, the taskforce will conduct integrated state-wide operations to identify premises used for the illegal activities,” he added.

Abdul Latiff pointed out the number of suspects nabbed during raids on gambling dens saw an increase from 3,008 arrests between January and August last year to 5,672 in the same period this year.

He added that for the first eight months of this year, police have conducted some 2,677 raids with 10,434 seized items recorded while where last year’s record were 3,877 raids with 899 seized items.

“We have also noticed an increasing trend for online gambling, which does not involve the use of premises and this is worrying.

“We hope that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will come up with a solution to tackle online gambling issues,” he said.

Abdul Latiff also called on members of the public with any information of illegal activities, especially gambling dens, to lodge a report with the police.-thestar

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