Alan Ho Yau Lun – a nephew of gaming tycoon Stanley Ho Hung Sun – was sentenced last week by Macau’s Court of Second Instance to eight years in prison for setting up and heading an organised criminal group at the city’s Hotel Lisboa and for 58 counts of “exploitation of prostitution” at the venue. At the time of his arrest, he was identified as a director of subsidiaries of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd.
Alan Ho – at the time of his arrest a senior executive at Hotel Lisboa (pictured in a file photo) – had been sentenced in 2016 to 13 months in prison for one offence of exploitation of prostitution at that hotel venue.
At the time he was however acquitted by the court of the crime of forming or participating in a “secret association or society” – normally understood in Macau to be a reference to involvement in Chinese criminal gangs commonly known as triads – for the purposes of exploitation of prostitution at Hotel Lisboa. The latter property is owned by Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau SA (STDM), a firm founded by Stanley Ho.
Last week’s decision by the Court of Second Instance followed an appeal by Macau’s Public Prosecutions Office.
Alan Ho and other senior executives of Hotel Lisboa were among those arrested in January 2015 on suspicion of allowing prostitution at the property. The police estimated in a statement following the arrests that more than MOP400 million (US$50 million) had changed hands in the form of fees.
During the 2015 raid, the police held 96 suspected prostitutes, aged between 20 and 27, for investigation. One was from Vietnam, while all the others were from mainland China. The prostitutes allegedly were each forced to pay an annual ‘entrance fee’ to solicit clients in public areas of the hotel complex, plus a monthly ‘protection fee’, according to the police.
Other five senior executives of Hotel Lisboa involved in the case also had their sentences increased by the Court of Second Instance.
Kelly Wang, a former deputy manager at Hotel Lisboa, received a six-year prison term from the Court of Second Instance. She had initially been sentenced by the Court of First Instance to 29 months in prison, after it was found she had taken advantage of her position to charge fees from prostitutes. She was now also sentenced for being a member of an organised criminal group.
The city’s authorities said at the time it was the largest suspected case involving prostitution to be broken up in Macau since the city passed from Portuguese administration to that of China in 1999.
Hotel Lisboa’s owner STDM controls around 54.1 percent of Macau-based gaming operator SJM Holdings. SJM Holdings manages the casino in the Lisboa complex.
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Macau’s total VIP gross gaming revenue in the first quarter of 2021