Sharjah: Tip-offs from residents have led to more crackdowns on gambling, police said. There have been several complaints from the public against roadside gambling, leading to police raids. As a result, there is less gambling on the streets this year, Sharjah Police said.

A top official at Sharjah Police told Gulf News that 33 Bangladeshis were arrested on charges of gambling in public places by the Criminal Investigation Department of Sharjah Police.

The suspects were arrested after a tip-off, claiming a group of Asians were involved in illegal gambling in public places.

A police team was formed to investigate and officers raided areas where the gang was suspected to be operating.

The police arrested 33 Bangladeshi men, who all admitted to being involved in gambling.

The suspects were arrested in different places of the emirate.

All the suspects were also violating the UAE residency law.

During interrogation, they confessed to the crime and said they were targeting labourers to make some quick cash.

“Gamblers make money by duping passers-by into playing rigged games of chance. Ring members pose as players who are allowed to win a few rounds, enticing bystanders.

“They often use ironing boards as a table, allowing gamblers — who have look-outs and informers placed in the crowds — to quickly disperse at the hint of police action,” the official said.

He said that Sharjah Police have intensified efforts to end violations of the country’s residency laws. That can only be achieved with the full cooperation of law-abiding residents, through the media and the wider community,” official said.

He added that a number of raids have been carried out recently to curb the practice. The raids will continue until all illegal activities are halted, the official said.

He urged residents to cooperate with police and inform them about illegal practices which “annoy residents in public areas and streets”.

He advised them to report offences “that threaten the security of society” by calling 999, 06563222, the Najeed police service’s toll-free number 800151, or via SMS on 7999.