The Wenzhou Public Security Bureau has issued an arrest warrant for Suncity Group CEO Alvin Chau.
According to a post on the Bureau’s official WeChat page on Friday, Chau is accused of “opening casinos in China” via the operation of cross-border gambling operations on behalf of Suncity Gaming Promotion Company Limited. Another Suncity associate, Zhang Ningning, and others are said to have already been prosecuted by the People’s Procuratorate of Wenzhou for crimes such as allegedly opening casinos.
In its lengthy post, the Bureau said it had launched an investigation in Ningning and others and had found that a “cross-border gambling criminal group, headed by criminal suspect Alvin Chau Cheok Wa and including Zhang Ningning and others as core members, is suspected of committing the crime of opening casinos in China, and the acts are of an aggravated nature.”
The People’s Procuratorate of Wenzhou has subsequently approved the arrest of Chau according to the law.
The investigation, it said, found that, “Since 2007, Alvin Chau Cheok Wa contracted junket operators in casinos in Macau, and then in 2016 started up online gambling platforms in Philippines.
“In order to make illegal profits, Chau recruited Mainland Chinese personnel as shareholder-level agents and gambling agents, organising Chinese citizens to gamble in his contracted overseas junkets and participate in cross-border online gambling activities by means of granting high credit, promoting gambling business, providing transportation services and technical support.
“Chau set up an asset management company in Mainland China to provide services for gamblers to exchange assets for gambling chips, helped to collect gambling debts, assisted clients in cross-border capital exchange, and used underground banks to provide gamblers with funds settlement services. A sizeable cross-border gambling criminal group, with clear personnel levels and regular members, was gradually formed under the leadership of Chau and people such as Zhang Ningning.”
The Bureau said Suncity had, as of July 2020, 199 shareholder-level agents, more than 12,000 gaming development agents and over 80,000 gaming customers in mainland China. The case has involved “a tremendous amount of money and seriously impacted the social order of our country,” it added, and called for Chau to surrender as soon as possible in order to seek leniency.
Inside Asian Gaming has been in contact with Mr Chau, who offered no comment at this stage. However, Suncity issued a statement in which it said, “Sun City Gaming Promotion Company Limited is currently following up on the relevant issues. The Company hereby emphasizes that all businesses are normally operating in accordance with the law and under the supervision of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government.”
IAG contacted a number of concessionaires who informally reported that business had continued as usual in Suncity’s junket rooms overnight.