*By Therese Tu
Judicial Police (PJ) uncovered a criminal group suspected of having absconded with nearly MOP 280 million ($34.7 million) deposited by more than 200 people in a VIP room at Cotai Casino over a period two years.
After investigating computers and documents seized from the casino and the group’s office at NAPE, PJ law enforcement authorities discovered that the group was using the casino’s cabinets to solicit deposits through illegal means by pretending to offer an interest rate. raised.
In such cases, the casino firm refers to slot machines that have agreements with casinos but are not registered with a licensed gaming company.
Some junket promoters and collaborators or those who sell customers “dead chips” that cannot be exchanged for cash in casinos would recommend players play on such cabinets. At the same time, a commission would be charged to the firms by the casinos.
In this case, the criminal group illegally solicited deposits, pretending to provide high interest returns in the name of cooperation with the gambling company.
In one specific case, 18 depositors in Macau, Mainland China and Hong Kong reported to the PJ that they could not recover their deposits and a total amount of MOP 27 million was involved, after a room was closed. VIP last year with his name not yet specified.
The deposits of the 18 reporters ranged from MOP 3,800 to MOP 12.5 million, and two of them said they received interest for three months with a monthly interest rate of up to 1%.
Most of the deposits were misappropriated by key members of the criminal group, except for a small proportion used as operating expenses.
The two Macau residents involved in the case were detained and transferred to the prosecution for large-scale fraud violation and criminal group crimes.
A 39-year-old man surnamed Chan, reported as a businessman, was the group’s executive director; while the other, a 30-year-old man surnamed Lam, reported as a clerk, was the vice president of the group.
Chan was responsible for the administrative and publicity work to attract depositors, while Lam was responsible for researching potential depositors.
The casino cabinet was set up by the leader of the criminal group who allegedly left Macau before the VIP room closed, with police currently investigating his whereabouts.