Illegal gambling fuelling more serious crime

| 04/05/2022

(CNS): Police arrested three women for illegal gambling last Thursday during high visibility patrols in George Town. The patrols followed the murder of Harry Elliott (62) at an illegal gambling shop in the capital last week. The women, aged 19, 37 and 51, who are all from George Town, were seen by officers selling lottery tickets in a commercial building on Shedden Road.

A quantity of cash and tickets were seized from the women during their arrest, and all three have since been bailed. But police have noted that this type of unlawful gambling is fuelling robberies and extortion.

“We are aware that illegal gambling is a catalyst for other more serious and violent offenses that take place, including armed robberies,” says Detective Superintendent Peter Lansdown. “We take these matters seriously and seek to prosecute offenders for gambling-related offences whenever possible. We rely heavily on information from the public about the where, when and who of these crimes and encourage the public to provide us with tips, whether anonymously or confidentially.”

Elliott, a former prison guard, was shot dead on the night of Monday, 25 April, at a known illegal gambling shop in School Road George Town, near to the junction of Eastern Avenue.

Speaking at a recent press briefing in relation to Elliott’s murder, Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said officers were taking the issue of gambling seriously. Aside from being illegal in its own right, it attracts criminals looking to extort or rob those selling the numbers, he noted.

“We really are concerned about illegal gambling… It seems to come with robbery and extortion,” he said. People involved in this crime are being threatened and told that must pay the criminals money or they are going to be robbed. “There is a lot of stuff happening at the government level in terms of moves to address illegal gambling,” Byrne said. “We have had significant input on that.”

Anyone wishing to provide information in relation to illegal gambling and other crimes in the Cayman Islands is encouraged to call the Confidential Tip Line at 949-7777 or submit a tip via the website.

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