The court proceedings against a group of former Suncity Group employees continue with full force after Chinese authorities cracked down on the junket operator uncovering illegal gambling activities, side-betting operations, fraud, and other violations.
Another Defendant Accused of Manipulation of Funds Was Heard by the Court
In the course of the hearings, which have been going on for the past nine days, one more defendant, the 12th in a row, admitted to aiding a Suncity Group customer to open an account with a foreign gambling operator.
Vincent Loi, former Deputy Director of Business Developments at Suncity Group, told the court that a Suncity Group customer contacted him and expressed interest in proxy-betting operator Universal e-City. The customer wanted to open an account with the company, which was previously owned by Suncity Group but was then sold to a wealthy businessman.
Loi assisted the customer by calling up staff at Suncity Manila who opened up the requested account on behalf of the customer. Loi, whose job was to help Suncity Group customers with bookings of hotels and restaurants, argued that he was only doing his job to assist a customer to open an account in the same way he would help with a hotel room booking, for example.
Additionally, Loi emphasized he did not have any access to the customer’s Universal e-City account and did not deal with any funds connected with it. He also added that no employee of Suncity Group had access to accounts with the Philippine company.
During the legal procedure, it was uncovered that even though Universal e-City no longer belonged to Suncity Group it was possible for customers to transfer funds between their different accounts at the two companies.
The next stage in the legal process will be to hear the testimony of witnesses.
China Cracked Down on Major Junket Operations Led by Suncity Group
35 defendants connected to Suncity Group have already pled guilty to charges in connection with cross-border junket operations. As part of a major organization spanning multiple countries, the defendants admitted to being involved in helping VIP Chinese customers travel abroad to high-end junkets.
The beginning of the end for this intricate and very profitable syndicate was marked by the arrest of the founder and now former CEO of Suncity Group, Alvin Chau, in November 2021. Charges of money laundering, organizing illegal gambling operations, and fraud, among others, have been pressed against Chau, who is one of the 21 defendants that are currently being heard by the Macau court.
The major cross-border junket syndicate led by Suncity Group is said to have involved a network of over 60,000 agents across various Asian countries. So far, a total of 56 defendants will be appearing before the Macau court on criminal charges in connection with the Suncity Group junket operations.