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By Jaythaleela K
MIRI, March 15: Six men were fined RM700 each in default four weeks imprisonment after they pleaded guilty to illegal gambling in a public place.
`Lee Kim Thian and seven others’ were caught playing ‘Ho Hey How’ at the Fish Market in Jalan Cina at 12.05pm on Feb 4.
But on Thursday, only accused 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 appeared before Magistrate Zuraini Ali Musa, who subsequently issued a Warning Order Attorney (WOA) against the 4th and 7th accused and ordered it be returnable on April 4.
The accused were charged under Section 7(2) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953, which provides for a maximum fine of RM5,000 or up to six months’ jail or both.
Zuraini imposed the penalties after taking into consideration several aspects, including their guilty plea and mitigation, facts of the case, the seriousness of the case and public interest.
In mitigation, accused 1, 2, 3 and 5 appealed for a lesser fine as it was their first offence and that they were their families’ sole breadwinners.
The 6th accused also appealed for a lesser fine by stating that it was his first offence, he did not have a permanent income, he came from a rural area and worked as a farmer.
The 8th accused, in appealing for a lesser fine, also told the court that it was his first offence, he was doing odd jobs and only had RM400 with him, which was borrowed from a friend.
According to the facts of the case, a team from Miri Central police station raided the Fish Market and arrested the eight upon a tip-off. During the raid, police seized the ‘Ho Hey How’ apparatus as a case exhibit.
Inspector Mohd Khairi Mohd Noor prosecuted, while the six accused were not represented. — DayakDaily