Macao tycoon Alvin Chau and 10 others may face a total of 33 years in prison once convicted, Suncity Group shares set to tumble more than 37% (Updated 9.40am)

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30th November 2021 – (Macao) The Macao Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a press release late yesterday (29th) that the Macao police recently detected a case involving illegal gambling and money laundering using the Internet, and named the suspect Alvin Chau, owner of Suncity Group as the mastermind. The 11 persons involved in the case were transferred to the Procuratorate for investigation. As these crimes have had a serious impact on the legal operation of Macao’s gaming industry and the stability of financial order, the criminal prosecution court accepted the proposal of the prosecutor in charge to implement compulsory detention measures on the key suspects. As for the other six suspects, other compulsory measures such as providing identity information and domicile records, payment of security deposits, regular reporting to police station and ban from leaving the country were taken. The Macao Procuratorate said that more than a year ago, the local police had already obtained evidence that suspects surnamed Chau and others were involved in illegal gambling operations.

The case revealed that the syndicate was suspected of setting up an illegal online live betting platform in the Philippines based in Macao, attracting mainland residents as the main source of gamblers to conduct huge online illegal gambling through the “live scene”, and used Macao company accounts to transfer illegal gains via underground money changers.

After preliminary investigations, sufficient evidence was gathered against the syndicate members for violating the Macau Criminal Code. The suspects face a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment. They are also suspected of organising or leading a crime syndicate with a maximum penalty of 12 years’ imprisonment. In addition, they are also suspected of “money laundering crimes” with a maximum penalty of 8 years in prison and “operating illegal gambling” which carries a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison. This means that once all the above offences are convicted, the maximum sentence can reach 33 years in prison.

Meanwhile, shares of Suncity Group Holdings Ltd (1383.HK) are set to tumble more than 37.3% in resumed trade on Tuesday after its chairman, Alvin Chau was arrested over alleged links to cross-border gambling. He has already indicated his intention to resign.  Suncity’s stock was set to open at HK$0.16, the lowest level since 2016.

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