Malaysian police arrest 129 for illegal gambling betting

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21, 2010 (AFP) - Police in Malaysia have arrested 129 people including students for illegal football betting worth 94 million dollars since the World Cup began this month, a police official said Monday.

Mohamad Bakri Zinin, chief of the criminal investigation department, said that since the tournament kicked off in South Africa on June 11 until Sunday police had carried out 156 raids against illegal betting.

Among those arrested were individuals, including a family of four and criminal syndicate members, he told reporters.

"One hundred men and 20 women and nine foreigners were arrested," he said, adding that the youngest bookmaker was 15 years old.

Bakri said that, with the help of Interpol, police were seeking seven people who had left the country, in connection with betting country.

Sports betting is illegal in Malaysia and those found guilty can be jailed up to five years.

Bakri said about 200,000 Malaysian were engaged in illegal betting in the country since the start of the World Cup tournament.