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Asia round-up: Thai cops & confiscation; Suncity trial unravels & Resorts World Sentosa

Thai police seize $12.3m of assets and cash

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Thai police seize $12.3m of assets and cash

Police in Thailand have confiscated $12.3m in assets and cash allegedly tied to an online gambling syndicate.  

The syndicate supposedly runs an illegal gambling operation across the country, operating three automated gambling websites with over 50,000 users.  

According to Thailand’s Public Broadcast Service, officers conducted raids across 10 of the country’s provinces, detaining over 40 suspected criminal operators. 

A total of 52 locations were supposedly searched, uncovering a scaled and sophisticated operation, so say local law officers.  

Gambling is illegal in Thailand; however, there have been recent calls to amend the country’s Gambling Act and legalise both land-based and online gambling in the country. 

Politicians submitted a draft amendment to legalise gambling this May, in the hope of stopping the frequency and extensiveness of illegal gambling operations across Thailand. 

Furthermore, July saw politicians submit a parliamentary decree calling for casino resorts to be introduced in Thailand. 

It is believed the country’s National Assembly is currently considering this proposal.  

“We have been through good times together, and some tough times too such as in the last two years of the pandemic. But we have always worked together to support and look out for each other” Loh Su Kim, Resorts World Sentosa SVP of Sustainability

Suncity shareholder admits to “betting under the table” crimes 

The court case of Alvin Chau and his ex-associates at Suncity Group has continued. In the latest update, an ex-Suncity shareholder has admitted to purposely developing a system to assist with betting-under-the-table transactions.  

The defendant in question, Cheong Chi Kin, said he would bring customers to Suncity’s Macau VIP rooms to process illegal transactions. 

Cheong faced trial alongside Ali Celestino, the former VP of Suncity’s IT department. Celestino told the court that he set up the IT system, Opsman, for betting-under-the-table transactions to take place at the request of Cheong.  

Celestino said: “I commissioned the mainland IT company to set up the system and then handed it over to Cheong, then I left the operation unattended.” 

Earlier this week, at the start of the trial, Suncity ex-CEO Alvin Chau said he believed Cheong was responsible for betting-under-the-table activity.

Having admitted to the charge, Cheong has essentially confessed his guilt to the charges placed against him, including charges of operating a criminal syndicate, illegal gambling and fraud.  

Resorts World Sentosa wins sustainability awards 

Singapore-based casino Resorts World Sentosa has received two international awards for its sustainability efforts. 

“I commissioned the mainland IT company to set up the system and then handed it over to Cheong, then I left the operation unattended” Ali Celestino, former VP of Suncity’s IT department

Resorts World Sentosa was voted Best Integrated Resort at the 31st Annual TTG Travel Awards 2022, held in Bangkok, Thailand. 

The award was given to the resort for its efforts in improving standards for sustainable hospitality practices and offerings.  

This is the ninth year in a row that Resorts World Sentosa has won this award, excluding 2020 and 2021 when global travel was muted because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Resorts World Sentosa SVP of Sustainability Loh Su Kim said: “We would like to thank all the travel agents who have been part of our amazing journey through the last decade and for our 10th Best Integrated Resort Award by TTG.  

“We have been through good times together, and some tough times too such as in the last two years of the pandemic. But we have always worked together to support and look out for each other and we will continue to do so in the years ahead.” 

Furthermore, the resort won the award for Asia’s Leading Theme Park Resort 2022 at the World Travel Awards, while Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, a hotel in Resorts World Sentosa was also named Asia’s Leading Theme Hotel for the second year in a row.

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