The Macau’s Court of Second Instance has officially absolved previous Suncity boss, Alvin Chau, and 6 other suspects in the fraud case, which involves finished and attempted crimes.
However, despite its decision, the said court risen the sum of compensation that Chau and the other suspects are required to pay to the Macau government for illegal gaming crimes and money laundering, which has come to almost HK$25 billion, which is US$3.2 billion.
The aforementioned Alvin Chau, aka the “junket king” of Macau, was convicted in January of this year on around 290 counts of criminal offenses, involving non-legal gambling and organized crime. As for Chau in particular, he was found guilty and convicted to spend up to 18 years in prison and ordered to pay over HK$8.6 billion in compensation to 5 gaming concessionaires and the Macau government.
Additionally, throughout that period, it was determined that Chau and the other 20 suspects would have to pay HK$6.52 billion, which is US$833 million, in compensation directly to the Government of Macau for their part in the “non-legal” activities, which resulted in a loss of tax income for the time frame of 2014 and 2021. However, at the same time, each of the 5 gaming firms at the gaming center were entitled to compensation surpassing HK$2.15 billion, which is US$275 million, except for Melco Resorts.
Then, in a short time following his first ruling, the prosecution submitted an appeal to expand his sentence to a total of 21 and a half years. However, in a recent verdict, the court decided to release the suspected from their duty to give any compensation linked with the supposed fraud to the gaming concessionaires and the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR).
Finally, the court upheld Chau’s 18-year prison sentence, without decreasing the sentence for criminal conspiracy and non-legal gambling activities. Additionally, it also made a decision regarding bail, which was HK$6.5 billion, aka US$831 million, for the previous junket tycoon.
As for the 4 other suspects, their sentences were decreased from 15 to 12 years and 6 months.
One more important decision of the said court is that it ordered the “freezing“ of Chau’s bank accounts, a firm widely-known as Sawalana Limited which is officially registered in the capital of UK, real estate holdings and an additional number of assets cited in the MP reports. Relatedly, in compliance with the information found in the court’s statement, “the defendants have the option to appeal this decision to the Court of Final Appeal.”
Significant increase in labor disputes in Macau:
Throughout the ceremony that was organized last Friday, October 20, on the occasion of the official marking of the start of the 2023/24 judicial year in Macau, the President of the Court of Final Appeal, Sam Hou Fai, pointed to an important growth of 133.33% in the city’s labor litigations, according to Asia Gaming Brief.
However, a significant portion of these litigations, minimum one-third, were directly associated with the unfortunate circumstances of the Suncity Group. As for this “high-profile” case and another one that includes different junket firm, Talk Chun Group, whose CEO Levo Chan got a prison sentence of 14 years, Sam noted that “the judges who presided over these cases exhibited exceptional resilience in delivering expeditious trials, dealing with cases seldom witnessed in the local judicial history despite the immense stress.”