Online gambling

Jailed and fined S$620,000 for leader of illegal online gambling ring that generated S$100 million in revenue

SINGAPORE — A leader of a multimillion-dollar illegal online gambling syndicate, whose members were among the first to be charged under the Organized Crime Act, has been sentenced to nine years, eight months and two weeks in prison Thursday, March 3.

Seet Seo Boon, who was also the union’s treasurer, was also fined S$620,000. The 57-year-old Singaporean must serve a further 310 days behind bars if he does not pay the fine by next month.

Seet was one of the key figures in the union he started in 2011 with his two older brothers – Seet Seow Huat, 64, and Seet Sian Thiam, 72. They received weekly earnings of at least S$1 million.

Using two main websites, the syndicate collected 4D and Toto lottery bets and generated over S$100 million in revenue before it was nabbed.

Seet, who made a profit of at least S$19,000 a month, spent around S$150,000 of his ill-gotten earnings to pay off his mortgage on a three-room condominium apartment in River Valley.

He had pleaded guilty late last year to seven counts, including being the leader of an organized crime group, providing remote gambling services and helping to organize a public lottery. 54 other similar charges were considered for sentencing.

He will begin serving his sentence on April 11 and remains free on S$75,000 bail.

The court previously heard that the Seet brothers had numerous agent and rider subgroups and groups working for them. Before creating the gambling network, the brothers collected illegal 4D bets on behalf of strangers.

They then decided to create their own remote gambling website in mid-2011. Thereafter, they personally and actively recruited other agents and shareholders who would collect 4D bets from punters on their behalf.

The brothers encouraged syndicate members to recruit others in order to increase revenue, as well as cushion losses by spreading the losses among the members.

They avoided discovery by the authorities by personally interviewing potential members and only accepting those who agreed to their terms.

Seet made profits of at least S$14,000 per month from bets collected through their first website from 2011 until his arrest in November 2016.

In 2013, Seet discovered a more efficient online betting system in Hong Kong. The group then launched its second Singapore-based remote gaming website, of which Seet was the administrator and owner.

He profited at least S$5,000 every month from this site from 2013 until his arrest.

On November 27, 2016, acting on information received, police went to Seet’s residence and forced their way in after he refused to allow entry.. They seized several electronic devices used in the syndicate as well as four Rolex watches.

The police also discovered that he was managing 11 bank accounts in various banks for illegal gambling activities.

The prosecution – led by assistant prosecutors Dwayne Lum, Chong Yong and Lee Wei Liang – had described him as a leader behind “one of the most profitable and elusive illegal remote gambling syndicates”.

Seet was represented by Mr. Josephus Tan and Mr. Cory Wong of Invictus Law Corporation.

Apart from Seet, several people were treated in connection with the union. A total of 49 people were arrested in a series of police raids in November 2016.