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Police bust HK$2.5 million chip fraud gang

The Judiciary Police (PJ) have busted a criminal gang allegedly involved in at least 20 fraud cases worth more than HK$2.5 million at a casino in Zape that had been operating since January, PJ spokesman Ho Chan Nam said at a special press conference on Friday.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:46 am

The Judiciary Police (PJ) have busted a criminal gang allegedly involved in at least 20 fraud cases worth more than HK$2.5 million at a casino in Zape that had been operating since January, PJ spokesman Ho Chan Nam said at a special press conference on Friday.

Ho said the gang comprised at least 10 members. Five of the suspects, all of them local men, were arrested by the police on Thursday.

According to Ho, the first suspect is the alleged mastermind and a former surveillance staff member of the casino. The second suspect is a former dealer. The third suspect is a casino surveillance team staff member. The fourth suspect is a dealer and the fifth suspect is a casino PR staff member who previously worked as a dealer.
All the five suspects worked in the casino targeted by the gang.

At least one woman and four men were still at large at the time of the press conference, according to the spokesman, who did not identify the casino.

The Judiciary Police on Wednesday received a report from the casino targeted by the gang, saying that when casino staff reviewed their surveillance records, they discovered a “fake” gambler wearing a wig who pretended to change a HK$ 10,000 chip into 10 HK$ 1,000 chips.

However, according to the casino report, the dealer gave the “fake” gambler 10 HK$ 10,000 chips instead, or chips worth HK$ 100,000 in total. At the same time the gang’s surveillance staff member monitored the gaming table where the fraudulent exchange of chips took place and diverted the attention of other surveillance staff chip fraud gang from monitoring the table, Ho said.

The alleged mastermind of the gang, aged 30, has been unemployed since January, when the gang started its scheme to defraud the casino. The same modus operandi was carried out by the gang at least 20 times, Ho said.

The police arrested five members of the gang on Thursday. They seized HK$296,700 in cash, HK$ 21,000 worth of chips, seven luxury watches worth from around HK$70,000 to HK$ 150,000, and a diamond bracelet. The items were found on the suspects, at their homes and in their cars, the spokesman said.

According to the PJ spokesman, the scheme is estimated by the police to have produced over HK$2.5 million in ill-gotten gains for the gang. The suspect who worked for the casino’s surveillance team received about HK$ 10,000 each time, while the other gang members were paid from about HK$20,000 to HK$30,000 each time they committed the embezzlement.

The police have transferred the suspects to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) for further questioning. Ho said the 5 suspects were facing possible charges based on Article 340 of the Macau Penal Code, according to which the crime of embezzlement committed by a civil servant or an employee of a public concession company is punishable by imprisonment of one to eight years.(MAcaunews)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:46 am

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