For illegal gambling, criminal association

Macau court upholds 18-year sentence for ex-Suncity CEO Alvin Chau and associates

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Macau’s Court of Final Appeal has upheld the 18-year prison sentence of former junket boss Alvin Chau, CEO of the now-defunct Suncity Group.

In mid-January 2023, Chau was initially sentenced to 18 years in prison by Macau’s Court of First Instance. He was indicted along with 20 others for illegal gambling, association with criminal organizations, fraud, and money laundering.

Following his sentencing, Chau sought to reduce his punishment through an appeal, even writing an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping in December 2023. However, his efforts did not influence the judicial authorities.

The court has now dismissed the leniency appeals and maintained the original sentence.

The court also rejected the prosecution’s attempt to impose harsher penalties. Last November, prosecutors sought to reinstate a fraud conviction against several defendants, which had been previously overturned by the intermediate court.

Chau and his co-defendants are required to pay HKD24.87 billion (€3.2 billion) to the Macao Special Administrative Region as compensation for gains from illicit gambling operations. This significant financial penalty highlights the severity of their crimes, said authorities, including illicit gambling and involvement in a criminal organization.

The downfall of Chau, alongside other notable figures like Levo Chan, came as part of a significant crackdown on junket operations in Macau. The government has intensified its regulatory measures to curb illegal activities associated with the junket sector.

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