The man who stole $1.3b in casino junket investor funds two years ago is promising to do whatever he can to repay those victimized by his theft.
In April 2014, Macau’s casino industry was rocked by reports that Huang Shan, a shareholder in the Kimren Group junket operation, had absconded with an estimated HKD 10b of investor funds. This week, word spread that Huang had been detained in Cambodia and transferred to Vietnam, where he was being held.
Word has now come out that Huang has issued a statement expressing his “late, sincere apology to my friends from all sectors that suffered from the loss.” Huang invited those he defrauded to travel to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam to discuss arrangements for repayment of the stolen funds. Huang promised to “spend all my revenues generated from [his Vietnam projects] to repay all my debts.”
Huang was reportedly tracked down by the Inspector Javert-like determination of three men working for the Heng Sheng Group junket operation. Heng Sheng released two photos of Huang, including one of Huang holding a copy of his Chinese-language statement.
A Heng Sheng representative told Macau Business Daily that Huang had “voluntarily” gone to Vietnam with the Heng Sheng reps “to solve his debt problems.” The rep said “it would be up to” Huang whether or not he’s willing to return to Macau.
Tony Tong, founder of Pacific Financial Services, vice chairman of the Macau Gaming Information Association (MGIA) and investment advisor to Heng Sheng Investment, said Huang was staying at the Heng Sheng VIP Club at the Royal Halong Bay Casino, and has issued a statement thanking Heng Sheng staff for taking care of him. Tong, Pacific Financial and MGIA are helping several creditors to fly to Vietnam to meet Huang to discuss settlement plans.
Huang’s theft dealt a serious blow to investor confidence in Macau’s junket industry and helped accelerate the market’s two-year-plus VIP gambling downturn, which had begun in earnest only a couple months before the theft.
Huang’s theft was the first publicly disclosed incident of internal theft at a Macau junket but it wouldn’t be the last. In 2015, the Dore Entertainment Co Ltd junket was victimized by a staffer who made off with anywhere from HKD 100m to HKD 500m. In 2016, a VIP rooms at SJM Holdings’ L’Arc Macau casino was taken for nearly HKD 100m.
The thefts led Macau gaming regulators to impose tighter controls on the junket industry, which was already in the process of consolidation as liquidity evaporated and smaller junkets were forced to close their doors.