It is no longer safe even for 20 hardened armed gangsters to enjoy a quiet night, playing a game of cards in Malaysia. On Friday last week, two of the most powerful organized crime families in Kuching, Malaysia sat down to a historic meeting to form a cartel and forget the decades of endless violence. Both gangs are heavily involved in operating foreign based online casinos in Malaysia.
To seal the bargain they decided to play ‘Si Ki Poi’, a traditional Malay cards game declared haram (forbidden) after Islam was introduced to Malaysia. Gambling is illegal for Muslims under Malay gambling laws and is slowly becoming illegal for followers of other religions as well.
Just as the gangsters sat down, put their machetes, kris knives and vicious mini axes away and began to unwind and toast whiskey to a fruitful union between the gangs, a squad of special operation police forces burst in.
The little shop house in the town of Sekama has long been under observation of Anti-Vice, Gambling and Gangsterism unit (D7) of Malay special forces police. Unbeknown to the luckless gang members, the proprietor of the shop had a weakness for beer, and the Special Forces were ready to pounce the minute he was observed drinking.
Instead, the police saw the gangs and after a long debate decided to forget the alcohol drinker for now and apprehend the gangsters.
Malaysia has lately been severely cracking down on operators of all gambling ventures especially the ones who allow residents to bet on sports in Malaysia.
According to State CID chief SAC Huzir Mohamed, the police raid seized a total of RM117,403 in money, apprehended 20 hardened gangsters between 25 and 50 years of age drinking and gambling at 12.20 at night. Police proudly displayed 146 casino style chips in value between RM10 to RM10,000. A crude homemade revolver with four home made bullets was also uncovered.
Huzir Mohamed explained that the owner of the house will be arrested as well – “We are also trying to establish the identity of the ‘organizers’ of the gambling sessions, whom we may want to detain under Preventive Laws.”
Since both of the gangs agreed not to bring guns to the meeting, the truce between the two criminal organizations was immediately voided and the two gangs loudly swore blood oaths in police detention cells.
The suspects, comprising 16 men and four women subsequently tested positive for Syabu (crystal meth-amphetamines), and were detained under Section 8 of the Firearms Act and Section 7(1) of the Corrosive, Explosive and Dangerous Weapons Act. All suspects had lengthy criminal records for drug-related offences, theft, gambling and alcohol consumption.
“We are now trying to find out where they obtained the revolver from and for what purpose, and also if they have previously used it in the commissioning of a crime,” said Huzir.