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Junket Tycoon Chan Weng Lin Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison

On Friday, Macau’s second-biggest junket tycoon was jailed for 14 years over accusations of illegally running a multi-billion dollar gambling ring. Levo Chan Weng Lin was sentenced to serve 14 years in jail for a total of 34 charges, which include money laundering, organized crime, illegal gaming activities, fraud as well as being involved in the downfall of a rival junket kingpin.

The Macau Court of First Instance handed down the sentence after Mr Chan, along with another eight defendants who were all linked to the former junket operator Tak Chun Group, had gone through a five-month trial. Four out of the eight defendants were acquitted, with former Tak Chun staff member Chan Kam Chi being one of them. The other three who were released were not involved with the junket group.

The other four who were convicted were Cherie Wong Pui Keng, Betty Cheong Sao Pek, Wayne Lio Weng Hang, and Edward Lee Tat Chuen. The first two were sentenced to 10 years in prison, while the other two received 11 years and seven years respectively.

The judge gave all defendants a 20-day period to appeal to the Court of Second Instance.

Former Tak Chun Group Boss Accused of Running Criminal Junket Syndicate

Mr Chan’s lawyer, Leong Hon Man, spoke with the media who were waiting outside the court building that they will carefully review the verdicts and will have discussions with their client.

The court ruled that the illegal gambling ring led by Mr Chan had run illicit gambling activities in a total of 24 venues, which were located in the casinos run by the operator, said Judge Lam. The court was convinced that said under-table wagers took place in clubs owned by the now-defunct Tak Chun Group.

During the trial, it was alleged that over the past six years, the aforementioned defendants were running a criminal syndicate that had generated at least HKD1.50 billion (US$191.1 million) in the form of illegal profits.

Macau public prosecutors also accused Mr Chan of founding the said syndicate, with alleged under-the-table bets inflicting a loss of HK$575.2 million (US$73.2 million) to the Macau government due to gaming tax evasion. Due to the illicit casino operations, between 2014 and 2020, the criminal syndicate also caused a loss of HK$135 million (US$17.2 million) for the gaming operators in Macau.

On Friday, Judge Lam ruled that Mr Chan and the four defendants involved with the former junket group had to pay the Macau government and five gaming operators compensation. The only Macau gaming operator excluded from the compensation was Melco Resorts. The judge did not specify any compensation amounts.

During the trial, which started in December, Mr Chan denied all accusations and pleaded with the court to prove his and former Tak Chuna staff’s innocence. Mr Chan’s verdict followed the case of another junket tycoon – Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, former head of Suncity Group – who was sentenced to 18 years in prison in January, following similar accusations.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.