Prison time for five involved in Macau VIP room scheme

A former junket boss in Macau has been given a 14-year prison term for HK$1.5bn (US$190m) worth of gambling offences.

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An illegal VIP room scheme, which targeted high rollers, has seen five people sent to prison as a result of a lengthy trial in Macau.

Alongside the junket boss, Levo Chan Weng-lin, a former chairman and executive director of entertainment firm Tak Chun Group, was jailed with five others that were found to be guilty of 34 charges of fraud, illegal gambling and criminal association.

Chan himself was also found guilty of seven further charges related to fraud, with his actions causing revenue losses for the casino owners and the Macau Government.

The trial lasted for five months and saw the five ordered to pay HK$709m in government taxes and lost commission to casinos.

The junket boss was hit with 83 different charges and found guilty on 24 of them, which included unauthorised gambling operations in licensed places for running and promoting side betting in VIP rooms set up in various Macau casinos.

Judge Lam Peng-fai stated that the betting operation was aided by evidence in Tak Chun’s computers and documents.

There were 3,400 betting records of the illegal scheme found on the company’s servers, which showed that the activity had generated HK1.5bn.

Chan had denied the charges, and lawyers on his behalf said they would look at the result and go forward from there – though they stopped short of saying if they’d appeal the conviction.

Furthermore, four other people were acquitted during the trial.

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