In the 1970’s there were a number of gambling dens in Chinatown. One of these was on the 3nd storey of a shophouse at No.7, Trengganu Street which was about 3 minutes walk from Chop Wah On at No. 67, Pagoda Street. There was a coffee shop on the ground floor. The den was raided by officers of the Gambling Suppression Branch many times. At each raid, the officers would hack and prise open the very thick wooden door to gain access. This usually took 20 minutes or more. By the time they gained entry into the gambling den premises, they would find a number of people around but no evidence of any gambling activities. While it was obvious the guys were gambling, the Police could not arrest any of them for lack of evidence. Adding insult to injury, some of these gamblers even had the gall to pass snide remarks to mock the Police officers. Many times the Police officers had to leave empty handed, humiliated and frustrated.
One day a group of Gambling Suppression Branch officers arrived at the gambling den and rushed up the stairs to smash their way into the gambling den. Separately, a Police Inspector and a few officers rushed into the rear portion of the coffee shop and asked the coffee shop owner for permission to open up the man-hole. One of the officers lowered a large fishing net into the man-hole to catch any thing flushed from the upper floors. Amidst the loud hacking and prising noises, spurious amount of water came gushing down the man-hole channel connected to the upper floors. Much to the delight of the Police Inspector and his colleagues, a number of gambling cards and chips came trundling down the channel into the fishing net.
Bingo! Just as the Police Inspector had guessed. They had failed to find any gambling cards and chips in all their previous raids because the gambling den operators always flushed them down the toilets whenever the Police raided.
With evidence in the net, the Police Inspector rushed up to the gambling den which had by then been smashed through by his men, and ordered the arrest of all the gamblers on the premises.
Amidst the cheers of the crowd which had gathered to watch the raid, the gamblers were brought down from the gambling den, grim -faced and in handcuffs, into the waiting Police vehicle.
The premises ceased being used as a gambling den after that successful raid as a result of the resourceful Police Inspector’s action.