Following a half-year-long investigation stemming from citizen complaints, Big Island police arrested 13 persons for offenses associated with illegal gambling rooms in Kailua-Kona and Hilo.
Working jointly with the Area II Criminal Intelligence Unit, Area II Vice Section officers identified the owner of the illegal Kona establishment as 44-year-old Sergio Cabal of Hilo and his sole employee as 54-year-old Aaron Hiraishi of Kailua-Kona.
On Friday (March 2), officers served a search warrant at the establishment, located in Unit 105 at 74-5589 Alapa Street, and recovered 17 illegal video gambling machines, gambling records and $18,207 in cash. Both Cabal and Hiraishi were present, along with 10 individuals who were actively playing on illegal video gambling machines.
Cabal and Hiraishi were each arrested on suspicion of promoting gambling, possessing gambling devices and possessing gambling records.
The following individuals, all from Kailua-Kona, were arrested on suspicion of gambling: 33-year-old Annie Abraham, 33-year-old Fred Alokoa, 32-year-old Tilda Alokoa, 43-year-old Yun Choo, 41-year-old Gaius Ittu, 61-year-old Renell Kaupu-Kaialiilii, 51-year-old Marie Pai, 26-year-old Peter Palikshru, 33-year-old Shrue Tosie and 35-year-old Timothy Sigrah.
All 12 individuals were held overnight at the Kona police cellblock and then released Saturday pending further investigation.
Area I Vice Section officers served another search warrant Friday at a similar gambling establishment in Hilo located at 288 Kīlauea Avenue. There, they arrested Cabal’s wife, 38-year-old Ruth Cabal, on suspicion of promoting gambling, possessing gambling devices and possessing gambling records. She was held at the Hilo police cellblock overnight and then released Saturday pending further investigation.
Monday morning, Sergio Cabal was arrested again, this time on suspicion of promoting gambling, possessing gambling devices and possessing gambling records at the Hilo establishment. He was again released pending further investigation.
The Area I and Area II Vice Section are continuing this investigation.
Police encourage the community to report suspected illegal gambling by calling the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.