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18 Arrested in Malaysia for Betting on World Cup

Malaysian police have arrested 18 people and broken a major gambling syndicate allegedly taking illegal bets on World Cup matches near the capital of Kuala Lumpur.

According to reports Wednesday, the police raided a building near a pigsty in Selangor state Monday night and seized high tech equipment, including computers, digital recorders and mobile phones. Police estimate the bookies took in more than $8 million from online bets on the 30 matches played so far.

The latest arrests followed a weeklong investigation. Selangor police have raided a total of 22 illegal betting houses since the World Cup began, with 56 arrests so far.

All forms of sports betting, except horse racing, are illegal in Malaysia, but bookies have continued to offer betting odds online. Illegal bookmakers face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $52,000 if convicted.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.