Grandmother Arrested in Gambling Crackdown

TABANAN

Tabanan Police have arrested a 68-year-old grandmother for selling tickets for an illegal lottery at her home in Denbantas village.

Police visited the house belonging to Ni Nengah Rukun on the afternoon of February 12, following a tip-off from residents. They found several would-be gamblers at the property, and detained Rukun.

“We are holding the suspect, and we also seized Rp100,000 (US$11) and a number of lottery tickets as evidence,” said Tabanan Police spokesman Nengah Patrem, speaking to reporters on Sunday, adding that Rukun had confessed to the offence, saying that she had been forced into the illegal gambling trade by economic hardship.

Elsewhere, Bali Police spokesman Gede Sugianyar told reporters in Denpasar on Sunday that island-wide efforts to crack down on illegal gambling rings would continue, but stressed that cases were often difficult to prosecute.

“Although it may be well known that someone is involved in illegal gambling, if we don’t have hard evidence then there’s nothing we can do about it. On the other hand, of course, if there is evidence, then we will certainly arrest them,” Sugianyar said.

A special police team has been organised to tackle the problem.

“It’s not just the retailers and wholesalers who are being targeted; we’re going after the actual organisers,” Sugianyar said, adding that illegal gambling was often connected to wider criminal activities.

“The offenders can also be targeted under the Money-Laundering Law,” he said.

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