Gamblers place bet at a HK jockey club next to an advertisement for the World Cup in Hong Kong Wednesday, June 18, 2014. As teams battle for football glory at the World Cup in Brazil, the biggest winners from the sport’s top tournament may be illegal bookmakers in Asia. Chinese officer worker Chen says he has already wagered 2,000-3,000 yuan ($320-$480) since the tournament began through black market online bookies and plans to gamble more on big upcoming games. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Kuala Lumpur - Police have arrested 31 people suspected of involvement in illegal World Cup betting and seized thousands of dollars of bets, an official said Friday.

The suspects have been arrested in raids in several areas in the southern state of Johor since the start of the tournament last week, according to Johor police chief Mokhtar Shariff.

Seized from the suspects were 61 215 ringgit (R203 165) and 5 650 Singapore dollars (R48 357) believed to be bets, as well as 30 mobile phones, nine computers and several modems, Mokhtar said.

He said the suspects were believed to be operating in Johor and Singapore. Mokhtar said the police would continue operations against illegal gambling activities for the duration of the World Cup.