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 Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, former boss of now-defunct casino junket Suncity Group Ltd, GGRAsia has learnt. In mid-January, Mr Chau was sentenced to 18 years in prison in aggregate.
The defence and the prosecution have respectively appealed against the January ruling by the city’s Court of First Instance, encompassing Mr Chau and a number of other defendants, as reported by GGRAsia.
Mr Chau (pictured in a file photo), aged 48, founder of Suncity Group, had been indicted – with 20 other people – for illegal gaming, criminal association, fraud, and money laundering.
In January, Macau’s Court of First Instance said the criminal association charge had been proven against Mr Chau and several other defendants, as well as Mr Chau’s leadership role in the criminal group.
Other charges proven against Mr Chau were: illicit gambling, including operating illicit gambling in authorised venues; and fraud. He was not convicted for money laundering.
Twelve other defendants were convicted on various charges. Eight were sentenced to prison terms ranging from nine to 15 years; four got suspended jail terms. Eight defendants were acquitted of all charges.
In the appeal lodged this week, the prosecution argues that Mr Chau and Philip Wong Pak Ling, identified as the former head of Suncity Group’s finance department, should also be convicted for money laundering. Mr Wong was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the city’s lower court.
The prosecution also stated that Mr Chau should face a longer prison term for the charges of criminal organisation and fraud. It calls for the former boss of Suncity Group to be jailed for up to 21-and-a-half years; a term that would be reduced to 20 years in total if he were to be acquitted of the money laundering charge by the higher-instance court.
The appeal calls for Mr Wong’s prison sentence to be increased to 17 years in aggregate.
The prosecution is also seeking to have the sentence of Cheong Chi Kin, who had worked as a “junket agent” for Suncity Group, raised to 18 years in prison, from 15 years, due to “aggravated fraud” offences.
The Public Prosecutions Office also asked the Court of Second Instance to sentence Cheung Ling Ling – who in January was acquitted by the lower court – to nine years in prison, for money laundering and for being involved in a criminal organisation.
Ms Cheung, also known as Zhang Ningning, was said to have been in control of asset management on behalf of Suncity Group. She has already been sentenced to seven years in jail in Wenzhou, mainland China, in a process linked to allegations concerning Suncity.
The prosecutors’ office also asked the appeal court to increase the jail sentence of another defendant in the Macau case, Leong Su Weng, from nine to 11 years in total.
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