Oahu’s law enforcement agencies and Homeland Security team raided 2 separate homes this week, confiscating several gambling machines and putting an end to an illegal gambling operation in one of Pearl City’s residential areas.
According to locals, these operations have been underway since October last year, however, law enforcement officials state that the crackdown is due to more than just violating Hawaii’s gambling laws. The profits generated by these criminal gambling houses are being used to fund other acts of organized crime, including guns and narcotics.
“The crime that we’re seeing, the guns, the stabbing, it always for the most part, 95% of the time is traced back to either illegal gambling or drug activity,” said HPD Chief Susan Ballard.
15 arrests were made on Monday. One man named Kenneth Pauahi is being accused of setting fire to a warehouse where an illegal gambling operation was being conducted. Pauahi allegedly burned the property down when he was threatened with eviction from the owner.
Another suspect named Freddy Siatannu is being charged with robbery after stealing $4,000 worth of winnings from a slot machine patron.
Officials say there’s likely to be more arrests while 80 illegal gambling dens in Oahu are still at large.
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