Singapore Police Nab Over 150 Suspects for Illegal Horse Betting Activities

  • 158 suspects are also being investigated for allegedly breaching COVID-19 protocols
  • Law enforcement launched multiple operations across Singapore between April 26 and June 26
  • The Singapore Police Force said the suspects include illegal bookmakers, runners, bettors
  • Police told members of the public to “steer clear of all forms of illegal betting activities”
Singapore Police Force
Following a series of island-wide operations, police in Singapore are investigating 158 people suspected of involvement in illegal horse betting activities. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Over $57,000 in cash seized

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) is investigating 158 men and women for their “suspected involvement in illegal horse betting activities,” according to Singapore-based Asian news network CNA. The SPF said in a June 8 press release that the suspects include 147 men and 11 women between the ages of 36 and 83.

CNA took to Twitter on June 8 to share a photograph of one of the arrested suspects and cash taken in the raid:

In a series of island-wide operations between April 26 and June 26, the SPF’s criminal investigation department and the seven police land divisions seized over S$76,000 (US$57,439) in cash, mobile phones, and documents thought to be betting records.

The multiple suspects are also being investigated by the SPF for “alleged non-compliance of COVID-19 safe distancing measures.” Investigations are ongoing.

Police hit multiple locations

Police conducted operations into the illicit horse wagering activities across multiple locations in Singapore. According to an official SPF media release, these were in Bedok, Bukit Batok, Bukit Merah View, Marsiling, Serangoon Central, Telok Blangah Crescent, Woodlands, and Yishun.

preliminary investigations have revealed the suspects to include illegal bookmakers

The SPF stated that preliminary investigations have revealed the suspects to include illegal bookmakers taking illicit horse racing wagers, runners helping the bookmakers, and bettors placing unlawful horse racing wagers with the illegal bookmakers.

Officers from Singapore’s state Housing & Development Board also supported the police operations through “enforcement against breaching of safe distancing measures,” the SPF stated.

SPF issues a warning

The SPF said it takes a “serious view” against illegal wagering and will continue to take “tough enforcement action and prosecute those involved.” The state police also told members of the public to “steer clear of all forms of illegal betting activities” and to take social distancing measures seriously.

A recent sharp spike in COVID-19 cases from new variants across Southeast Asia witnessed an array of casino closures and countermeasures across the region. The integrated casino resort Marina Bay Sands Singapore remains open after embarking on mass testing of its staff following two of its workers testing positive for COVID-19.

According to the SPF, people “found guilty of bookmaking” can get fined from S$20,000 (US$15,104) to S$200,000 (US$151,046) and serve up to five years in jail. People found “guilty of betting with a bookmaker” can get hit with a maximum fine of S$5,000 (US$3,776), locked up for six months, or both.

Social distancing miscreants can get slapped with fines of between S$300 (US$226) and S$1,000 (US$755).