The trial of former gambling junket head Levo Chan Weng Lin (pictured in a file photo) and other defendants linked to junket brand Tak Chun Group is set to start this morning (Monday, December 5).
Mr Chan has been in pre-trial detention since his arrest in late January.
Macau’s Public Prosecutions Office said in January that Mr Chan was suspected of illegal running of gambling operations and money laundering. In total, nine people have been indicted under the same criminal case.
The Public Prosecutions Office said at the time of his arrest that Mr Chan was suspected of four types of crime: being a leader of a triad (which involves a penalty of up to 15 years in prison); money laundering (up to eight years in prison); illegal running of gambling operations (up to three years in prison); and illegal running of gambling operations in a casino (up to three years in prison).
Regarding the latter crime, the city’s Judiciary Police said at the time that Mr Chan was suspected of facilitating a form of under-the-table betting for high rollers in Macau, referred to by some commentators and government officials as the “multiplier”.
With the multiplier, the bet denominated at the casino gaming table actually represents a bet made privately that can be a multiple many times the ‘official’ one, thus avoiding paying on some bets Macau’s effective 39-percent tax rate on casino gross gaming revenue.
A number of the city’s casino operators are also complainants in the case, over losses allegedly caused by the defendants. According to public broadcaster TDM, Wynn Macau Ltd, Sands China Ltd, SJM Holdings Ltd, and MGM China Holdings Ltd were – via their locally-incorporated subsidiaries – claiming millions of U.S. dollars from the defendants.
In October, Macau’s Court of First Instance decided not to include civil claims in the trial of Mr Chan and other defendants. That was in order to expedite the handling of the criminal allegations, according to a decision from the court.
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Aggregate number of visitors to Macau during the first six days of the Chinese New Year holiday break