KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Illegal gambling syndicates nationwide are believed to be raking in millions of ringgit from the current World Cup qualifying matches ahead of the Finals in South Africa next year.
Police expect these bookies to step up their activities as the last few matches involving favourite teams - who have yet to qualify - play their remaining games on Oct 10 and 13.
It is believed that syndicates have started accepting bets for matches involving Argentina, France, Portugal, Denmark and Italy, amongst others. All these teams are struggling to qualify for the Finals next year.
Bukit Aman Investigation Department (D7) assistant director Senior Asst Comm (II) Datuk Ahmad Sofian Md Yassin said police had set up a special unit to monitor gambling syndicates which have gone hi-tech.
"The syndicates are making it difficult for us to track them down as they are now accepting credit cards and using internet banking; or money is banked directly into a particular account.
"Although we have had some measure of success, the public can help us more if they provide us with information as to who and where the syndicates are," he said.
SAC Sofian said the special unit was also overseeing the weekly takings from the English Premier League matches, as well as that of the Serie A in Italy; the Spanish La Liga and other notable leagues.
He said anti-vice and gaming officers all over the country had been instructed to act immediately on known syndicates.
Police worldwide expect bookies to rake in big money during the World Cup in July when billions of ringgit could exchange hands all over the continent, including in Malaysia.