x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Poker game raided

Police have raided a flat and arrested 13 people alleged to be involved in an illegal poker game.

DUBAI // An illegal poker game being run out of a flat in Al Rifaa was raided last week by police, who arrested 13 people, including the suspected proprietor of the gambling den. The man, who was not identified, charged the players by the game and plied them with alcohol to encourage them to gamble, police said. "They all had to pay to play," said Col Khalil Ibrahim al Mansouri, the deputy chief of the criminal investigation department at Dubai police.

"He charged Dh100 [US$27] for a game and alcohol was generously supplied. They were raided as they drank and gambled, which they were doing illegally." "We found various amounts [of money] on the suspects ranging from Dh10,000 up to Dh100,000," said Col Mansouri, who added that the group got together twice a week at the flat to gamble. He said the raid took place after several weeks of police surveillance following a tip-off. "They were being watched closely before they were arrested."

The suspects, all from an unspecified Asian country, have been referred to the public prosecution and face between one year and three years in prison if convicted. "Although gambling is not a widespread problem in Dubai, it's still a crime and it still takes place and we are doing all we can to crackdown on those involved," Col Mansouri said. @Email:rabubaker@thenational.ae