Jailed ‘junket king’ Alvin Chau issues apology to former employees for wage arrears

Jailed ‘junket king’ Alvin Chau issues apology to former employees for wage arrears
Zhou Zhuohua said that while living in prison, "I would read books and sit cross-legged every day, as if entering a second life." (Drawing by Allin)

The founder of the now defunct Suncity Group, Alvin Chau Cheok-wa – who was sentenced in January to 18 years in jail for more than 100 charges including organised crime and illegal gaming – has issued a written apology to his former employees for not being able to pay their overdue wages, according to a news report by Hong Kong-based Singtao Headline.

The handwritten letter was dated 14 June and was addressed to “colleagues at Suncity”. Though the letter was unsigned, it was personal and emotional.

In the beginning of the 500-word letter, Chau stated that he had received many letters and greetings cards from his former colleagues during his time in prison; a few of them wanted him to reply to their letters. He also mentioned that he was touched by the greetings cards he received on his two birthdays in prison.

He said he wanted to apologise to the 1,197 workers who stood by Suncity Group till the end because he was unable to pay their wage arrears. He then urged them to seek help from the Labour Affairs Bureau regarding the unpaid wages.

He also asked his former employees not to worry about him, noting that he was leading a healthy life in prison with daily exercises. He has quit smoking and drinking, and has acquired a daily habit of reading and meditating, according to the letter. In Chau’s own words, it is like having a ‘second life’.

Commenting on his sentence, Chau said he did not lose hope, adding that he still believed there were justice and kindness in this country and society.

Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Limited changed its company name to LET Group Holdings Limited last July following the arrest of Chau.

Andrew Lo Kai Bong has become the company’s new majority shareholder after assuming the 74.98% stake previously held by Chau.