The man behind Asian junket giant Tak Chun Group, Levo Chan Weng Lin (pictured), was reportedly arrested by Macau police on Friday over allegations that he also holds a senior position within a local triad criminal gang.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the entrepreneur was detained by the former Portuguese enclave’s Judiciary Police alongside four others and is now sitting in ‘pre-trial arrest’ pending his day in court. The source detailed that Macau prosecutors are set to contend that Chan has been running an illegal gambling operation while simultaneously laundering money in partnership with the former boss for rival junket firm Suncity Group, Alvin Chau Cheok Wa.
Tak Chun Group had widely been considered to be Asia’s second largest junket operator behind only Suncity Group while Chau was reportedly detained by Chinese police in late-November on similar charges. This latter figure is still awaiting trial although his arrest in conjunction with the local detention of eleven other individuals is said to have led the aggregated stock value of Macau’s six-strong club of licensed casino operators to immediately crash by as much as $4.8 billion.
Officials from the Judiciary Police reportedly explained that they had long suspected a felonious link between Chau and Chan while the enclave’s Public Prosecutions Office later revealed that both men along with four of the other 15 arrested individuals are to remain in detention over the Chinese New Year holiday period. This latter body moreover purportedly stated that the criminal activities the suspects are alleged to have committed produced ‘a negative impact on Macau’s social order and on the stable and sustainable development of Macau’s gaming sector’.
In further breaking down Chan’s alleged offenses and GGRAsia reported that the businessman is suspected of being in an outlawed criminal organization, engaging in money laundering and running illegal gambling operations both inside and outside of a casino environment. The source divulged that these crimes could altogether result in the entrepreneur being handed a prison term of up to 29 years with the Judiciary Police said to be especially keen to break up his alleged facilitation of the ‘multiplier’ form of under-the-table betting popular among some high-value gamblers.
In related news and GGRAsia used a second report to disclose that Chan has additionally been serving as the Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director and Co-Chairman for Hong Kong-listed casino operator Macau Legend Development Limited, which operates under sub-licenses held by Macau concessionaire SJM Holdings Limited. This former firm purportedly used an official Monday filing to note that the businessman, who is also known as Levo Chan, was now immediately relinquishing these roles in the ‘interest of the shareholders of the company as a whole’ and so as ‘to avoid distraction’.
Macau Legend Development Limited is responsible for Macau’s impressive 223-room Legend Palace Hotel development in addition to its smaller Babylon Casino Macau and Pharaoh’s Palace Casino properties. GGRAsia reported that the official arrest of Chan saw the value of this operator’s individual shares drop by 19.3% in trading earlier today to be worth a mere $0.05.
Read the filing (pdf) from Macau Legend Development Limited…
“Mr Chan has confirmed that he has no disagreement with the board and there are no matters relating to his resignation that need to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the company and he has no claim whatsoever against the group whether by way of compensation, remuneration, severance payments, expenses or otherwise. The board would like to take this opportunity to express its gratitude and appreciation to Mr Chan for his contributions to the company during his tenure of services.”