Five Social Media Influencers Charged with Promoting Online Gambling Venues

Five social media influencers were charged at two Magistrates’ Courts here today on charges of promoting gambling premises on their social media platforms.

The five women, Aileen Koh Ooi Leng, 29, Hayatunnuffus Zakariya, 32, Nurul Syifa Aliya Adanan, 21, Nurazalina Mustafa, 28, and Noor Shahnez Marzuani, 22, pleaded not guilty after the charges were read before Magistrate Aina Azahra Arifin and Magistrate Illi Marisqa Khalizan.

Before Aina Azahra, Hayatunnuffus was alleged to have announced or published by way of promoting a gambling premises on her Instagram account by inviting or deceiving people to gamble in an open gambling house at a restaurant in Cheras here at 9 am, on June 13.

The charge under Section 4(1)(g) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 which carries a fine of between RM5,000 and RM50,000 and a maximum imprisonment of three years, if convicted.

Koh, on the other hand, was charged with promoting online gambling in a public place at a restaurant in Sentul here at 8.23 am, on the same date under Section 8(1) of the same act which carries a fine of between RM20,000 and RM200,000 and a maximum imprisonment of five years, if found guilty.

Prosecuting Officer ASP Nom Phot Prack Dit offered RM5,000 bail for Hayatunnufus and Koh, but lawyers Azlan Abdul Razak and V. Varunnath asked for a lower bail on the grounds that their client did not have a regular income.

Magistrate Aina Azahra allowed bail of RM4,000 with one surety for each accused and fixed August 15 and 26 for their cases to be mentioned again.

Before Magistrate Illi Marisqa, Noor Shahnez was charged with announcing or publishing by way of promoting an online gambling platform on her Instagram account to invite or deceive any person to gamble at an open gambling house at a restaurant in Taman Maluri here at 9.30 am, on June 13.

Nurul Syifa and Nurazalina were charged with helping carry out online gambling promotions through their Instagram accounts using two mobile phones at the Gambling Prevention Unit Office D7, at the Kuala Lumpur Police Training Centre in Wangsa Maju, at 7 and 7.30 am respectively, on the similar date.

The three women were charged under Section 4(1)(g) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 which provides for a fine of between RM5,000 and RM50,000 and a maximum imprisonment of three years, if convicted.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hamizah Hisan offered bail of RM15,000 for each accused, but lawyers Mohd Rhastdan Abdul Wahab, Meor Khusyairi from the National Legal Aid Foundation (YBGK) and A. Krishnaveni asked for minimum bail given that their clients have a low income and are the sole breadwinners of the family. .

The court allowed each accused to be bailed at RM5,000 with one surety and set next August 15 for the re-mention of the case.

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