Police in Macau arrested 16 scammers yesterday who were involved in a fake VIP room which targeted mainland high rollers. The alleged criminal syndicate members turned luxury hotel suites into fake casino VIP lounges, which included members posing as dealers, security guards, public relations managers and players.
When seizing the group in a luxury hotel in Cotai after a tip off by a victim cheated of over $1.25 million, local authorities found betting chips amounting to over $12.5 million as well as baccarat tables, gaming equipment, drugs and sedatives – a report by Macau Business affirms.
Macau police said the victims were recruited in the mainland to gamble in Macau, and then brought up to the fake VIP lounge shortly after a tour around other casinos in the city. Authorities believe their drinks were spiked with drugs, while the syndicate members would use false shuffling to ensure those playing would lose. Police have also discovered that the fake VIP room never stayed in the same place and changed between venues with gambling equipment being stored in suitcases for transit. How cunning.
The group are thought to have been active in Macau for the best of two years before being caught and local authorities suspect they have conducted at least 19 illegal gambling sessions in that period, with each scam taking up three days to complete.
Among the people arrested is one of the alleged ringleaders, but another one’s whereabouts is unknown. He’s probably sunning it up on a remote island somewhere. The polince handling the case confirmed they are yet to determine the total number of victims and the amount of losses, and after two years of losses, we’re guessing it’s going to be a pretty hefty sum.