Up to police, MACC to reveal online gambling political patrons: Saifuddin

Up to police, MACC to reveal online gambling political patrons: Saifuddin

Home minister says authorities have ‘comprehensive data’ on their identities

SG PETANI – It is up to cops and graft busters, who know the identity of politicians suspected of being “patrons” of online gambling activities, to reveal their identities, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

He said he believes the two agencies will assess whether there is a need to do so, Bernama reported him as saying here today.

“Let the investigating agency, police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) make the decision (whether to disclose).

“They will decide according to their judgement…I don’t want to interfere in that matter.

“Both agencies have comprehensive data on who are behind the players and also the ‘mastermind’.

“So, as to whether they will reveal the matter, I leave it to their professional judgement,” he was quoted as saying at a press conference after launching a ministry event here.

Also present were Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain and Kedah police chief Datuk Fisol Salleh.

The minister also did not rule out the possibility that political activities may be financed by gambling activities, based on data and information authorities have obtained, which show the existence of “political patronage” in online gambling activities.

“A player in this industry, if he is protected by political patronage…of course he has to ‘reciprocate’. So, it is not impossible that he may finance political activities.

“On this matter, I leave it to police and MACC,” he said.

Saifuddin first revealed political protection for gambling activities in Parliament on June 15, calling it the biggest obstacle faced by the Home Ministry and the police in tackling the issue.

Saifuddin added that the value of online gambling activities could reach billions of ringgit every month.

“In one week, such activities can rake in RM200 million to RM250 million…that’s just (for) one activity and not others.

“In Parliament recently, I revealed that there are about 100 websites related to online gambling.

“When we look at it in terms of size, the volume is very large, and their profits are in cryptocurrencies and so on.

“In terms of technology, they are very advanced…that’s why the enforcement team needs to be agile, (even) two or three steps ahead,” he said.

– The Vibes, June 18, 2023

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