If you have been canned in most English-speaking countries, it means that you have just been fired from work. In Singapore, it could mean something completely different as an attempt to extort Marina Bay Sands employees may now end up with literal canning of the guilty party, a 29-year-old man.
You Can’t Fool Me Once nor Twice
Goh Tian Shun thought that he could use the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, and the general chaos around the situation to his advantage, mostly by trying to access free chips and the VIP treatment at the property. His plan went sideways sure enough, though, after the employees approached by him showed the strength of character and did not cave into his erratic threats.
In one instant, Shun told a casino floor manager that he would tip off the authorities that the Marina Bay Sands allowed unvaccinated guests on the resorts’ floors. It was okay, though, because Shun was a reasonable guy after all. He would happily keep quiet if only the shift manager would part with $200,000 worth of chips and bump his VIP status.
He was shut down and asked to leave the premises. He then decided to try the general uncertainty around COVID-19 again and see if some nerve-wrecked employee would be duped.
So, he called a few days later at the Marina Bay Sands over the phone and said he was a journalist for The New Paper, a local outlet. The New Paper publishes yellow pages that mix fact with fiction, but it could still have an impact on a business’s reputation.
Impostering a Tabloid Journalist
Not only was the second attempt unsuccessful. It turned out that Shun was already known to the Marina Bay Sands. Apparently, not too many people approach the property and ask for a cozy treatment out of the blue. So, what happened next should have been at least partly known to him as a result of his actions.
The Marina Bay Sands was aware of the situation, and they alerted authorities who were able to track Shun. Shun was quickly charged for both approaches on casino employees and he is now awaiting court trial on January 27. His transgression under Singaporean law predicts canning and up to five years in prison. While Singapore is unlikely to give him an actual drubbing, the risk of jail time is almost certain.
The judicial system in Singapore has been reviewed on several occasions to finetune it to the severity of the crimes committed in various sectors, including gambling. In July last year, Singapore opened a review of its gambling laws, hoping to create a robust network in the face of growing pressure from interactive operators.