Bali police moved in to bust a suspected online gambling operation at a hotel this past weekend. However, they found only the remnants, leading them to believe someone tipped off the perpetrators that officers were on their way.
The raid took place at a hotel in the Jalan Kartika Plaza in Kuta, Bali, Indonesia, on Saturday evening. Dozens of police officers were ready to encounter anything, unsure of what was waiting for them on the other side of the door.
When they gained access to the room, they determined that their expectations of finding an illegal gambling operation were correct. However, there wasn’t anyone around they could arrest.
A Snitch on the Inside
Inside the hotel room, located on the fifth floor of the hotel, police found dozens of computers, cell phones, and more. There was plenty of evidence to support the belief that the room doubled as an illegal gambling operation.
Despite everything they found, which appeared to have only recently been abandoned, there were no people. The circumstances could only lead them to draw one conclusion – someone informed the operation that a raid was coming.
Law enforcement officials were working off a tip that came from the hotel itself. Someone rented the hotel room for an extraordinarily long period, and staff began to notice suspicious activity. As a result, they contacted the police to take a closer look.
Now, investigators and the perpetrator, or perpetrators, will play a game of cat-and-mouse. Investigators will use the information they gather from the computers and cell phones to determine those involved and where they can be found.
Successful Raid Leads to Multiple Arrests
The Kuta raid may not have had success, but a separate one in North Jakarta on Saturday did. Police there shut down an illegal gambling operation in an apartment complex, arresting eight people in the process.
The group, comprised of six men and two women, had alleged involvement in several online gambling sites as part of an organized operation. When the police surprised them, they found 29 mobile phones, 29 computers, sim cards, bank ledgers, and more. They now face charges of illegal gambling, money laundering, and other crimes.
Indonesia has a strict anti-gambling policy. Any form of the activity is against the law, regardless of its nature. A clear example of its zero-tolerance policy is a case that recently stirred up controversy in West Lombok.
In that incident, police arrested five people for participating in gambling. However, those circumstances in virtually any other place would have only resulted in, perhaps, a warning. The five were women playing Ceki, a game similar to Mah Jong, who ranged in age from 54 to 81. At stake was only IDR64,000 (about $4.50).
Not everyone meant to uphold the gambling laws believes the rules apply to them. For example, Ferdy Sambo, a top-ranked general in Indonesia’s National Police, now faces allegations that he participated in illegal gambling.
He may have also had a role in a major crystal meth operation and in the murder of another police officer. He allegedly led this separate life while serving as the head of the police force’s internal affairs division.
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