Police officer and spouse facing fraud charges for HK$10 mln gaming chips illegal exchange deal

A Public Security Police Force (CPSP) officer and his spouse could face fraud charges for allegedly for keeping HK$10 million (US$1.2 million) in gaming chips after claiming they would be able to exchange them for live cash, the Public Prosecutions Office indicated.

The case was first reported to police authorities a few days ago, with the CPSP later finding one of its officers and his wife had falsely claimed that they could help people exchange the casino chips in cash.

The two complainants handed the couple HK$10 million worth in gaming chips for exchange purposes, however, after obtaining the chips, the defendants used excuses to postpone the exchange and later told the offended parties that they had lost them while gambling.

The complainants reported what happened to the police, who subsequently intercepted the defendant at a local border checkpoint while attempting to flee from Macau, and found his spouse in an apartment in the city.

The two defendants could face charges of fraud of a considerable amount, punishable with a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

However, fact that the accused is a police officer and is considered to have knowingly violated the law, could serve as aggravating circumstances.

Preventive arrest coercion measures have been enforced to the defendants in order to avoid any exit from Macau or the continuation of any criminal activity.

The CPSP also chose to underline that recently there have been successive cases of similar frauds in Macau in which criminals have claimed to help exchange cash for gaming chips.

Previous reports have claimed local junket operators facing liquidity issues have imposed limits on deposit withdrawals from VIP rooms from players and investors, leading to several instances of illegal exchange of ‘dead chips’, gaming chips which cannot be exchanged for regular chips or cash.