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Alleged Richmond illegal gambling den busted by police, 16 arrested

Two arrested individuals were non-Canadian citizens and are subject to deportation.
A suspected illegal gaming house in a Richmond residence was searched by police in December 2022.

Sixteen people, including two non-Canadian citizens, were arrested after police searched and dismantled a suspected illegal gambling den in a Richmond home.

According to Richmond RCMP's release, police had searched a home at Skaha Crescent near Azure Road on Dec. 1, 2022.

Police arrested 16 individuals, which include a 45-year-old Richmond woman and 49-year-old Surrey man determined to be the caretakers of the house, and a 34-year-old Richmond man and 38-year-old Vancouver woman who were apparently professional card dealers.

Two people, including one caretaker and one card dealer, were non-Canadian citizens and are subject to deportation.

The majority of the individuals arrested were "actively participating in gaming," according to the media release.

Items discovered by police include more than $14,000 in Canadian currency, gambling ledgers, an automated Mahjong table and a poker table, chips and cards. 

The investigation was headed by Richmond RCMP's organized crime unit with assistance from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia's (CFSEU) joint illegal gaming investigation team and uniform gang enforcement team. The Canadian Border Services Agency and Lower Mainland District police dog services unit also took part in the operation.

Staff Sergeant Patrick Damgajian, Richmond RCMP organized crime unit commander, said it was a "highly successful operation" and police managed to gather valuable intelligence in addition to safely dismantling the gambling house. 

Sgt. Brenda Winpenny, CFSEU-BC spokesperson, added that the agency often works closely with Richmond RCMP.

"Illegal gaming often has a nexus to other serious criminal offences and CFSEU-BC and our partners are collectively looking at every opportunity to work together and mitigate the negative impacts of organized crime in our communities," she said.

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