Closing arguments in the criminal case involving Levo Chan Weng Lin (pictured in file photo), ex-boss of former Macau junket operator Tak Chun Group, are scheduled to start on the morning of March 8, said on Friday the presiding judge Lam Peng Fai.
Mr Chan and eight other defendants have been charged with crimes including being members of a criminal organisation, illicit gambling operations, defrauding the Macau Special Administrative Region government and the city’s six casino concessionaires, and money laundering.
They are accused of operating of under-the-table bets – also known as ‘multiplier betting’ – and of ‘proxy betting’, stated as violations of Macau’s Law No.8/96/M, the Regime of Illicit Gambling, according to the indictment.
The indictment stated that unauthorised under-the-table betting was facilitated by Tak Chun, and produced illicit profits of least HKD1.50 billion (US$191.1 million at current exchange rates) over nearly six years. Mr Chan has denied any wrongdoing.
According to a copy of the indictment reviewed by GGRAsia, the prosecution claims multiplier business enabled by Tak Chun generated rolling chip turnover of more than HKD34.9 billion for the period covering April 2014 to February 2020. As a result, the Macau government missed out on about HKD575.21 million in tax that should have been paid on gross gaming revenue generated from such turnover.
The first session of the trial took place in early December. Friday’s court session marked the tail end of the process, with two senior officials of the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, summoned by Mr Chan’s legal defence team to testify.
The two officials – Paulo Jorge Moreira Castelo Basaloco and Yau Chi Fai – told the court that they had not spotted or received reports suggesting that under-the-table bets and proxy betting were taking place in Tak Chun’s VIP gaming venues in Macau casinos.
The two officials had also testified in the criminal case involving former junket operator Suncity Group boss Alvin Chau Cheok Wa.
Suncity’s Mr Chau was in January sentenced by Macau’s Court of First Instance to 18 years in prison in aggregate. The defence and the prosecution have respectively appealed against the ruling. Macau’s Public Prosecutions Office has asked the city’s Court of Second Instance to increase to 21-and-a-half years the sentence of Mr Chau.
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