South Korea hunts for Malaysian woman after casino loses US$13m in cash

Monday 11th January 2021

Landing International Development, the Hong Kong-based owner of Landing Casino, reported the loss last week

Jeju police are looking for a Malaysian worker and say more perpetrators are likely involved in the theft of the banknotes, which weigh 280kg

Police in South Korea have launched a hunt for a Malaysian employee after a huge sum of cash mysteriously disappeared from a Hong Kong-backed casino in the southern resort island of Jeju.

Jeju Shinhwa World, one of South Korea’s largest integrated resorts, last week filed a police report saying that 14.56 billion won (US$13.38 million), all in South Korean banknotes, had gone missing from Landing Casino at its compound, according to a Yonhap news agency report.

Landing International Development Ltd, the Hong Kong-based owner and operator of Jeju Shinhwa World, this week disclosed the cash disappearance from Landing Casino on its website.

“The board of directors of the Company wishes to inform the shareholders and potential investors of the Company that on 4 January 2021, the management of the Group discovered that certain funds amounting to approximately 14.56 billion won … kept in Jeju, South Korea, was missing,” Landing International said in a statement posted on its website.

“Currently, the management of the Group is unable to reach the employee in charge of the funds. The company has immediately reported the incident to the police in South Korea and they are currently investigating the incident,” it said.A Chinese crime wave hits Philippines as gambling firms grow unchecked

A senior police officer at Jeju Police Station confirmed a probe was ongoing. “I can’t go into details because the case is still under investigation,” he said.

The employee, in her 50s, remains at large after leaving for holiday at the end of December.

Police in Jeju secured security camera footage from the casino but the video at the time of the apparent theft had been erased, according to Yonhap.

Police suspect the incident involved a number of perpetrators as the missing cash, weighing 280 kilograms, would be too bulky and heavy for a single person to transport.

Investigators also said the cash could still be on the island as it was difficult to move such a large amount of cash out of the country via airports or seaports.

Hong Kong’s Landing International Development Limited is an investment holding company with interests in resorts and the gaming business.

In South Korea, its Jeju Shinhwa World project includes four luxury hotels, a serviced condominium, theme parks and a shopping complex.

Jeju Landing Casino, a foreigners-only gambling venue, opened in March 2018. The casino, one of the largest in South Korea, has been hit hard by prolonged Covid-19 pandemic and curbs to international flights.

The company also owns Landing Convention Centre, a facility for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions; and the premium condominium Shinhwa Villas.

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