Macau police question junket mogul Chau after China city issues arrest warrant


A logo of Macau junket operator Suncity Group is seen at a gaming fair in Macau, China November 18, 2015. - Reuters

HONG KONG, Nov 27 (Reuters): Macau said police were questioning Alvin Chau on Saturday, after a Chinese city issued an arrest warrant for the junket mogul, accusing him of operating gambling activities in mainland China.

The Macau government said in a statement that Chau, founder of the special administrative region's biggest junket operator Suncity, was taken to the police station in the morning, based on earlier evidence and after it received a notification about the arrest warrant from the mainland authorities.

Suncity operates VIP gambling rooms across Asia. Junket operators are go-betweens who bring high rollers to play at casinos, extending them credit and collecting on their debts.

Casino gambling is illegal in China outside Macau, the world's largest gambling hub.

Authorities in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou said on Friday their investigation had found Chau formed a junket agent network in the mainland to help citizens engage in offshore and cross-border gambling activities.

Chau also set up an asset management company in the mainland to help gamblers to make cross-border fund transfers, the Wenzhou City Public Security Bureau in the coastal city in Zhejiang province said on its Weibo account.

Chau and Suncity could not be reached by phone for comment, and did not immediately respond to email inquiries.

GGRAsia, a news outlet on the Asia casino industry, quoted a Suncity spokesperson as saying by email early on Saturday that "all businesses are normally operating in accordance with the law and under the supervision of the Macau Special Administrative Region Government."

Suncity's publicly listed entity in Hong Kong, Suncity Group Holdings Ltd, does not include its junket operations.

The Wenzhou authority said that as of July 2020, the "crime syndicate" led by Chau had 199 shareholder-level agents, more than 12,000 gambling agents and over 80,000 punter members.

"The amount of money involved was exceptionally large, seriously damaging our country's social management order," the security bureau said. "The security authorities urges (Chau) to surrender himself as soon as possible, in order to get a lenient treatment."

Jeremy Douglas, Southeast Asia and Pacific representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, told Reuters, "Chau's arrest warrant is no doubt sending shockwaves through organised crime in Hong Kong and Macau, but also Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines.

Douglas said Suncity has been linked to major drug traffickers and money laundering for many years.

Chau has grown Suncity from operating a high-roller table in Wynn Macau's casino in 2007 to a sprawling conglomerate with thousands of employees and businesses ranging from property to autos.

In 2019, Suncity was singled out by state-backed Chinese media which attacked online gambling for causing what it described as great harm to China's social economic order. Suncity said it did not operate any online gaming at the time. - Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

China , Macau , Arrest , JUnket Mogul , Alvin Chou

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Emerging markets - Indonesia central bank hold rates; Asian forex gain as US yields ease while China cuts mortgage rates
Asian stocks rise after China rate cuts, Japan export gain
Fewer people fall victims of human trafficking in Laos in 2021
Cambodia launches new tourist port in coastal city Kep
Brunei reports another 29 new Covid-19 cases; rate of positive cases now stands at 1.2%
European Parliament debates resolution over ‘deterioration’ of media freedoms in Hong Kong
China cuts key rates, steps up monetary stimulus to boost economy
Hong Kong shuts secondary schools over Covid-19 fears
Oil prices slip from 2014 highs, supply concerns limit losses
Immediate action needed to address climate change in Malaysia, says Syed Saddiq

Others Also Read


Vouchers