Court rejects Macau Scam suspects’ bid for release from POCA detention


KUALA LUMPUR – Six male Chinese nationals who were arrested for alleged involvement with a Macau Scam and online gambling syndicate will remain in detention under the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) 1959.

This came after the High Court here today dismissed their challenge against the initial order for detention for 59 days under Section 4(2)(a) of POCA.

The six Chinese nationals – Jiang Xiang, Wang Jun Cheng, Li Jiang, Luo Hong Bin, Lei Meng and Yu Xiang Yu – were detained in a special operation by the police against online gambling syndicates in October last year.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid made the decision after allowing the preliminary objection by the respondents, namely Inspector Wayandiana Abdullah who is investigating the case, the Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court, the Inspector-General of Police and the government.

“I find that the detention order under Section 4(2)(a) of the preventive act has become academic since the applicants have been detained for six months under Section 19A(1) of the same act.

“They are currently being detained at special rehabilitation centres in Simpang Renggam, Johor and Bentong, Pahang. Therefore, the respondents’ preliminary objection is allowed and the application for a writ of habeas corpus is therefore dismissed,” said Azhar.

Azhar added that after going through detailed and thorough submissions raised by the parties, he found that POCA was also applicable to non-citizens.

“The full grounds of judgment will be ready by next week,” he said.

The six were arrested in October and remanded for 59 days from Nov 23 last year.

Lawyers Gobind Singh Deo and Jacky Loi, who appeared for the applicants, said they will be filing an appeal against the decision.

In the applications which were filed separately, the six were seeking for an order that their arrest and detention under the act had no basis, was not in compliance with the procedure and mala fide.

They were also seeking for an order that their detention did not fall under the scope of the act and that the act is not applicable to them.