The police busted a fake VIP gaming room in a hotel suite in Nape on Wednesday and arrested 19 gang members from the mainland, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokeswoman Yeung Sau Chan said during a special press conference on Thursday.
According to Yeung, the gang also cheated during the games in the bogus VIP room so that the gamblers always lost.
The 19 suspects, 15 men and four women, are aged between 32 and 54, according to Yeung.
Yeung said that one of the victims from the mainland was persuaded last month to come to Macau and gamble in a VIP room, to which he agreed. The victim was taken to a purported VIP room – a hotel guestroom in the city centre. Eventually the victim lost a total of HK$4 million, Yeung said.
The victim was later told by his friends that the hotel room was not a VIP room. The victim realised that it was a spurious casino and reported the case to the police, Yeung said.
After investigating, PJ officers identified the 19 suspects and confirmed that they had meanwhile left Macau. PJ officers later discovered that the 19 suspects had returned to Macau separately on Monday, Yeung said, adding that they rented a suite on the 21st floor of a hotel in Nape on Tuesday.
PJ officers put the 19 suspects under surveillance after they arrived in Macau, according to Yeung.
On Tuesday night, some of the suspects took another four victims to the “VIP room” to gamble. PJ officers decided that it was the right time to take action, and in the early hours of Wednesday raided the suite and arrested the 19 suspects. The four victims that were gambling there lost a total of HK$4 million, Yeung said.
According to Yeung, two gaming tables were found in the suite. A fake metal detector was set up at the door of the suite, Yeung said, adding that PJ officers seized counterfeit gaming chips with a purported value of more than HK$70 million in the suite.
The 19 suspects assumed different roles in the sham operation, such as the boss of the “VIP room”, dealers, waiters, PR staff and security guards, as well as pseudo-gamblers, Yeung said.
According to Yeung, in addition to operating the rip-off VIP room, the gang also cheated in the baccarat games so that the gamblers always lost their money.
According to Yeung, the gang members carried the gaming tables and the other equipment in large suitcases, as the two tables are foldable.
Yeung said that the police were still questioning the suspects on how long the fraudulent operation had been running.