Online Poker Players Facing 7 Month Jail Sentence

Online Poker Players Facing 7 Month Jail SentenceSeven online poker players allegedly caught gambling on Facebook are now facing up to 7 months behind bars if convicted by the Medan District Court in North Sumatra, Indonesia.
Gambling laws in the largest Muslim-majority nation are strict and Indonesian authorities have now been taking their crusade online against overseas online gambling sites. Recently, three government bodies comprising the Social Affairs, the Religious Affairs, and the Communications and Information Technology Ministries have banded together to tackle illegal gambling in Indonesia.
In the latest incident to make the news, seven poker players and four people involved in trading online chips were arrested, and as Judge Agus Setiawan explains: “They were involved in gambling, therefore we accuse them of violating the law, which carries a prison sentence of seven months.”
Apparently, the players would buy 1 million rupees (US$105) worth of chips value at 2,000 rupees (20 US cents) each and would be able to cash them back in after for 1,700 rupees each. However, after the “Supernet” internet shop was raided, police seized evidence of gambling activities, including Rp 7 million (US$740) in cash, and 33 computers along with data.
The defendants are currently being held in Tanjung Gusta penitentiary, and after being brought to court and pleading for leniency, Judge Agus Setiawan retorted: “Everyone is asking for leniency and no one has asked for an acquittal. If you ask for leniency, this either proves you admit your wrongdoing, or are admitting you are guilty. Those who feel innocent raise your hands.”
All of the defendants remained silent and the case has now been adjourned until later in the month.
Other stories involving gamblers meeting heavy-handed justice at the hand of Indonesian authorities include the case of Chinese non-Muslim Halim Datkui, who was caught during a card game betting Rp 50,000 ($5.50) and was subsequently jailed for 4 months, contracting a skin disease while behind bars. In 2009, 10 children aged between 12 and 16 were also arrested for playing a coin-toss game in an Airport car parking area.

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