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Macau police make 11 arrests in illegal gambling investigation

Macau police make 11 arrests in illegal gambling investigation

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The day after junket organiser Alvin Chau was questioned by police in Macau as part of an ongoing investigation into an illegal gambling and money laundering syndicate, a total of 11 arrests were then made. A police statement said that people involved in the case acknowledged that the group had operated gambling websites or telemarketing activities in places outside of Macau. Mr. Chau is Chairman of Suncity Group Holdings and also founder of Suncity, an entirely separate legal entity and Macau’s largest junket operator, running VIP gambling rooms throughout Asia.

Chinese mainland authorities, based in the eastern city of Wenzhou, stated that an investigation had learned that Alvin Chau formed a junket agent network on the Chinese mainland to help citizens engage in offshore and cross-border gambling activities. The authorities in Macau later confirmed that Mr. Chau had been brought in for questioning, after they had received confirmation of the mainland authority’s arrest warrant. A spokesperson for Suncity was quoted in the Asian media as saying: “All businesses are normally operating in accordance with the law and under the supervision of the Macau Special Administrative Region Government.”

Mr. Chau is also a controlling shareholder of Sun Entertainment Group, a film production and cremation company. Their spokesperson added: “The Board wishes to emphasise that the news coverage is relating to the personal affairs of Mr. Chau. The Board is of the view that the Incident does not have any material impact on the financial position, business nor operation of the (Sun Entertainment) Group.”

The authorities claim to have been investigating the case since July 2020, and that the gambling syndicate has 199 shareholders and more than 12,000 agents promoting its gambling operations to over 80,000 gamblers in its network. The syndicate also set up asset management firms to assist gamblers with cross-border fund transfers and to recover debts they owed; the authorities claim.