Singapore, June 13, 2023 – Singapore police have apprehended a 45-year-old Malaysian man, Chai Hee Keong, on suspicion of using a prohibited device to record cards dealt at the Baccarat table in the renowned Marina Bay Sands Casino. Chai, believed to be part of a syndicate, was arrested in Malaysia on June 8 with the assistance of the Royal Malaysia Police, following a warrant issued by the State Courts in Singapore.
The incident in question allegedly occurred on December 23, 2022, just before 2 am, during a game of ‘7 UP Baccarat.’ Chai’s arrest comes as a result of an ongoing investigation by the Casino Crime Investigation Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department, initiated on December 24, 2022, into a suspected case involving the use of a prohibited device to record cards at the same casino.
Two other individuals have also been charged in connection with the syndicate. A 27-year-old Taiwanese man and a 35-year-old Malaysian man have faced court proceedings related to their alleged involvement.
Court documents indicate that Chai and eight others, including Wang Yu, Hung Yu-Wen, Hung Jung-Hao, Chou Yu-Lun, Tan Kian Yi, and three unidentified individuals, are accused of engaging in a conspiracy. The syndicate allegedly used a device to record the cards dealt during gambling activities at the casino. Hung Jung-Hao is specifically accused of using a mobile phone to transmit the card values and suits to a chat group titled “15/12 新加坡工作群(9)” in Chinese, which translates to “15/12 Work in Singapore Chat Group (9).” All individuals mentioned in the court documents were allegedly part of this chat group.
During the investigation, police seized casino chips valued at over S$700,000, along with a mobile phone and cash.
On June 9, Chai was formally charged in court with engaging in a conspiracy to use prohibited items under the Casino Control Act 2006. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of seven years in jail, a fine not exceeding S$150,000, or both.
The arrest and subsequent legal actions reflect Singapore’s commitment to combating illegal activities within the gambling industry and maintaining the integrity of its casinos. The Singapore Police Force will continue to work diligently to apprehend individuals involved in such illicit operations, working closely with international counterparts to ensure justice is served.
Marina Bay Sands, a prominent tourist destination and iconic landmark in Singapore, has taken this incident seriously and is cooperating fully with the authorities to address any lapses in security measures.
As the investigation unfolds, the case highlights the ongoing need for robust security measures and continuous efforts to prevent fraudulent activities within the casino industry, both in Singapore and worldwide.