KUALA LUMPUR – A special team to combat illegal gambling, vice and secret societies, known as Special Tactical Squad 3, is scheduled to begin operation this December, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the special team, which has a strength of 200 officers and members, would conduct raids and search, at premises which organised gambling activities nationwide.
The government, he said, had continuously taken firm action to eliminate illegal gambling activities, including online gambling, through operations code-named ‘Ops Dadu Khas’.
He said the ministry also prepared special notes at meetings attended by menteris besar and chief ministers on the need for cooperation between local government authorities (PBT) and the police to combat such activities.
“This is in view that the PBT has the discretion to approve and revoke licence issued to premises operating cyber cafe business in their respective areas of jurisdiction,” he added.
He was repyling to a question fromÂ Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani (BN-Titiwangsa) on the effectiveness of enforcement action taken against cyber cafes and internet gambling.
Ahmad Zahid said the ministry was also studying an alternative action that could be taken under the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) against individuals or syndicates involved in organising illegal gambling in the absence of strong evidence to charge them in court.
He concurred with Johari on a suggestion for the Home Ministry to have a key performance index (KPI) to determine the success of the district police in combating online gambling.
Based on statistics, from operations conducted since 2013 until August this year, the police had seized 197,477 units of computers, valued at almost RM2 million, with 2,500 individuals having been charged under Section 4B of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 and another 1,753 individuals under Section 6(2) of the Entertainment Enactment, he said.
However, he added, public cooperation and support were important to effectively address the problem. – BERNAMA