Macau arrests 11 people for illegal gambling and money laundering

A logo of Macau’s junket operator Suncity Group is seen at a gaming fair in Macau, China on November 18, 2015. REUTERS / Bobby Yip // File Photo

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HONG KONG, Nov.28 (Reuters) – Macau police arrested 11 people in an investigation into an illegal gambling and money laundering syndicate, an official WeChat account showed, a day after the interrogation of junket tycoon Alvin Chau at a Macau police station.

At a press conference on Sunday, the Macao Judicial Police did not name the individuals but said they included a 47-year-old Macau businessman nicknamed Chau, Hong’s South China Morning Post reported. Kong.

It was not clear whether this was Alvin Chau, who was ranked 46th in March when Suncity Group Holdings Ltd (1383.HK), of which he is chairman, released its 2020 results.

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He is the founder of a separate legal entity also known as Suncity, the largest junket operator in the Special Administrative Region, which operates VIP gambling halls across Asia. Junket operators are middlemen who get big players to gamble in casinos, grant them credit and collect their debts.

The operator of the junket could not be reached for comment. Representatives for the Hong Kong-listed company could not be reached by phone and did not respond to email inquiries seeking comment on behalf of the company or Chau.

A spokesperson for the Macao Judicial Police did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.

Those involved in the case admitted that the group had operated gambling websites or telemarketing activities in other locations, Macau police said in the WeChat statement.

Authorities in east China’s Wenzhou City said on Friday that an investigation revealed that Alvin Chau had formed a network of junket agents on the mainland to help citizens engage in offshore and cross-border gambling activities.

The Macau government said on Saturday that he was taken to the police station for questioning, based on previous evidence and after receiving notification of the arrest warrant from mainland authorities.

GGRAsia, an outlet on the casino industry in Asia, quoted a Suncity spokesperson as saying via email early on Saturday: “All businesses are operating normally under the law and under the supervision of the Special Administrative Region government. Macao “.

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Reporting by Alun John; Editing by William Mallard

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