Hong Kong elite among 16 arrested in raid of illegal luxury casino - IAG

Thursday 24th December 2020

Hong Kong police have arrested 16 people following a raid on an illegal casino located in a luxury apartment block in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district this week.

According to local media reports, the anti-triad team and special duty team of the Kowloon West Regional Police Headquarters raided the unit after being alerted to a criminal gang renting the apartment at a cost of HK$100,000 per month.

The unit, located on the top floor of The Masterpiece - which overlooks Victoria Harbour and is home to 345 high-end apartments, the Hyatt Regency hotel and K11 shopping center - included at least one baccarat table where single bets would start at HK$100,000.

"We believe its daily turnover reached up to HK$10 million, and the gang could pocket HK$1 million per night," a police source told the South China Morning Post.

Players would gamble on the lower floor of the apartment and relax over whisky, wine and cigars on the upper floor, with a lookout stationed outside the building and soundproofing installed on the walls to avoid detection. The illegal casino would operate three to four times a week from around 8pm to 1am, authorities added, and only regular, known clients were allowed entry.

The identities of those arrested have yet to be made public, however they are said to include 11 alleged clients of the casino operation, among them a barrister, four directors of Hong Kong-based financial firms and three wealthy university students.

The mastermind of the operation, alleged to be a triad member according to some reports, was also arrested as were three women alleged to be working in the casino as dealers. They face up to nine months in jail and a HK$30,000 fine while anyone found guilty of running the casino could spend up to seven years in jail and be fined up to HK$5 million.

Authorities have warned that more arrests could follow.

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