BUSINESS

ASIAN POLICE BLOTTER: crooked dealers, baseball bettors and human traffickers

TAGs: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, taiwan, thailand

singapore-thailand-taiwan-gambling-bustA former casino dealer at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is facing corruption charges after allegedly helping to cheat his former employer out of S$31,500. Money Wheel dealer Kenneth Lim Khan Lerk is charged with colluding with his MBS pit supervisor Keith Yong Kee-Hwei and a gambler named Steven Tan Tiong Loon in a scam that went down in October 2010. According to AsiaOne, Yong used his hand to interfere with the Wheel’s motion so that Tan’s bets would pay off. Lim was not originally a willing party in the scheme, but accepted $1k to keep his lip buttoned, only to come back with a request/demand for a further $2k. When Yong and Tan pulled the scam a second time, Lim demanded $7k. (That’s inflation for you.) Yong and Tan were jailed last year for six and ten months respectively, but Lim faces up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $100k on each of the three counts against him.

In Taiwan, Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) agents have busted an online sports betting ring, arresting nine people and confiscating 11 computers. The China Post reported that the CIB first took notice of the outfit’s website in May and a subsequent investigation uncovered over 10 “gambling stations” situated across the island feeding traffic to the site. The principal sports being wagered on via the site were the Chinese Professional Baseball League, Nippon Professional Baseball, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.

In one of the stranger online gambling bust stories to emerge from Asia, authorities in Thailand have charged a South Korean man with human trafficking after two young Koreans claimed they’d been forced to work at the man’s online gambling company. The Bangkok Post reported that Jun Tae-Hun stands accused of luring at least three young people from Korea to Thailand with the promise of accounting jobs, only to confiscate their passports and force them to process online bets instead. Two of the Koreans managed to escape and went to the police, while the location of a third Korean who escaped remains unknown. Police raided Jun’s operation, discovering several bank account passbooks indicating “millions of baht” in turnover (1m baht = U$32.2k). Jun has denied forcing anyone to work against their will. If convicted of human trafficking, Jun faces up to 10 years in jail.

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