Bali Police Bust Massive Online Gambling Ring, Seizing 240 Computers, Freezing 58 bank accounts.

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The Bali authorities have arrested a 31-member group suspected of operating an illegal gambling ring. This syndicate allegedly ran numerous online gambling platforms, including Hotel Slot 88, Cuan 88, Jaya Slot 28, Oscar 28, and Sera 77.

This bust led to the apprehension of individuals who held various positions within the organization, demonstrating its highly structured nature. Among those arrested were team leaders, members of a telemarketing department, and an administrative division. The raid brings a significant boost to the prosecution’s case, thanks to the seizure of 240 computers and laptops, which may even contribute to further arrests.

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The perpetrators face a slew of charges under Indonesia’s strict Information Technology Law and Penal Code. The heads of the organization face even graver accusations, including, at the very least, money laundering charges, placing them at risk of a maximum 20-year imprisonment, depending on the quality of evidence presented. Moreover, these ringleaders could bear the hefty burden of an IDR100 billion (US$6.5 million) fine for their money laundering activities.

The law enforcement arm in the case went a step further, freezing 58 bank accounts across several financial conduits. At a press conference held last Wednesday, Adi Vivid Agustiadi Bachtiar, head of the National Police for Cyber Crime, declared the successful disbanding of the gang and its operations in South Denpasar. This move resulted from an informant’s crucial tip-off.

Last Friday saw an early morning raid at the organization’s primary venue. The Marina Suite apartments, where the group resided, didn’t escape the reach of the law enforcement officers. Though, so far there is no suggestion that the property owners had any part in this illegal operation.

While several illegal gambling incidents in Indonesia have taken place in the recent past, sometimes the culprits manage to evade arrest. These occurrences have led law enforcement agencies to impose a crackdown aimed at staving off any further escalation.

Gambling is expressly forbidden in Indonesia, with harsh penalties already enacted. Bachtiar issued a further warning in his latest statement, asserting that anyone promoting online gambling would face prosecution. Indonesia’s Electronic Information and Transactions Law stipulates a six-year imprisonment sentence and an IDR1 billion (US$65,530) fine for online gambling promoters. Given the country’s average annual salary of IDR146 million (US$9,581), such a fine would be devastatingly costly.

This ban isn’t limited to average citizens. Even influencers, who may perceive themselves as untouchable, would face the consequences for promoting gambling, legal or otherwise. A growing number of social media personalities are facing criticism for promoting gambling, compelling Indonesia to enforce the law strongly. Bachtiar ominously hinted that several influencers are already in the police crosshairs, and these parties can anticipate prosecution if sufficient evidence of illegal gambling promotion is found.