Alvin Chau sent to Coloane Prison for detention pending trial

The Chairman of Suncity Group Holdings, Alvin Chau, was sent to Macau’s Coloane Prison for detention pending trial on Monday.

The Chairman of Macau’s leading junket operator Suncity Group Holdings, Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, was sent to Macau’s Coloane Prison for detention pending trial at around 6am on Monday after more than 14 hours’ questioning by public prosecutors on charges of illicit operation of gambling, forming a criminal gang and money laundering.

Among the 11 suspects who were taken to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for questioning on Sunday in relation to the case, only Chau and four other people have been remanded in custody at Macau’s only prison facility in Coloane.

According to informed sources, Macau’s examining magistracy decided to place Chau and his four associates under custody after it accepted the opinion of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Chau can appeal against his pre-trial detention within 20 days according to Macau’s Code of Criminal Proceedings.

The news of the junket boss’s arrest on Saturday has led to the halt of trading of two of Chua’s HK-listed firms. Suncity Group Holdings and Summit Ascent Holdings issued separate statements on Monday morning saying that trading in their respective shares had been suspended “pending the release of an announcement in relation to news coverage” regarding their chairman Alvin Chau.

The shares of Macau’s six gaming firms also dropped by six to 10 percent early Monday morning as a result of Chau’s arrest.

Analysts believe Chau’s case will have far-reaching implications for the entire junket industry in Macau.

According to the Macau Judiciary Police, Chau has admitted to the crimes of establishing gambling platforms overseas and running proxy gambling but has denied all other charges.

The tycoon is also wanted by the mainland police on charges of opening casinos, organising cross-border gambling for Chinese nationals and operating Internet gambling activities.