Junket boss Alvin Chau under arrest warrant issued by mainland China police

The public prosecution office of Wenzhou city in China’s Zhejiang province has issued an arrest warrant for Alvin Chau Cheok Wa – founder of Macau’s leading junket operator Suncity Group – on charges of organised “cross-border gambling” and “establishing casinos in mainland China”, according to a statement released by the city’s police department on its Weibo social media account on Friday evening.
 
The police statement urged the Suncity boss to “turn himself in as soon as possible to get a chance of lenient treatment”.
 
According to the Wenzhou police, Chau had recruited mainland Chinese citizens as shareholder-level agents and gambling agents to organise fellow citizens to gamble at his VIP gaming rooms overseas and participate in cross-border Internet gambling activities by providing high-value credits, chauffeur services and other technical assistance.
 
The mainland authorities also alleged that Chau had set up an asset management firm in mainland China to help his clients get gambling chips in exchange for their assets, to collect gambling debts for third parties, and to help clients handle cross-border monetary transactions.
 
Chau was alleged to have provided settlement services for gamblers using illicit channels, such as underground banks.
 
As of July 2020, the cross-border gambling ring led by Chau had 199 shareholder-level agents and over 12,000 gambling agents; it also had more than 80,000 gambling members in mainland China, the police statement added.
 
It further stated that this case involved huge sums of money and severely disrupted the nation’s social order.
 
Investigation into the case began in July 2020 and the arrest warrant for Chau was “recently” approved by Wenzhou’s public prosecution office.
 
One other individual, Zhang Ningning, was also identified as a member of Chau’s illicit gambling ring in Friday’s police statement.
 
The news of Chau’s arrest warrant became the number one trending topic on Weibo – the Chinese equivalent to Twitter – a few hours after the original police statement was released.