Levo Chan Weng Line, the boss of Macau casino junket operator Tak Chun, was detained in Macau on Friday, according to the Judiciary Police. After Suncity Group, Tak Chun was one of the largest junket operators in the city.
More Macau Junkets Fall
A 49-year-old suspect identified as Chan by Macau authorities was taken into custody after being investigated for a range of criminal activities. These included “illicit gambling,” the formation of criminal groups and money laundering.
According to reports, a second businessman, a Macau resident only identified by the last name of Choi, was taken into custody during Friday’s operations.
While Chan’s identity was not initially confirmed by police, media outlets reported that the individual detained was the head of Tak Chun.
Police stated that Chan headed an alleged criminal organization, with Choi as his support. They said Chan and Choi were suspected of being involved in illicit online gambling. Police also claimed that the pair were involved in facilitating illegal online betting for Macau high rollers.
The Macau casino junket industry has been under the spotlight ever since Alvin Chau November detention and the suspension of operations at his Suncity Group. This junket operator was previously described by investment analysts as being the largest VIP operator within the city.
This latest case was linked to Chau’s, according to Macau police. Local authorities did not give further details.
A Judicial Police spokesperson stated that police are focusing their investigation on the criminal group the suspects were associated with, and not specific junket organizations.
Chan is also the co-chairman and CEO of Macau Legend Development Ltd., which operates the Landmark, Babylon, and Legend Palace casinos in Macau. The company has a services agreement with Macau licensee SJM Holdings Ltd. That agreement, however, was to be canceled with the upcoming re-write of Macau’s gambling laws. Going forward, services agreements will no longer be permitted.
The company, which is listed in Hong Kong, also owns Macau Fisherman’s Wharf, a tourist complex in Macau’s NAPE district.
Macau Legend, of which Chan owns 33%, issued a statement following the arrest. It stated that it was “aware of the arrest and detainment of [Chan]” and that the company is “operated by a team of management personnel and the above incident relates to the personal affairs of Mr Chan and not related to the Group.”
It added that “the Board does not expect the above incident to have a material adverse impact on the daily operations of the Group.”
Macau Legend has stated that it wants to compete for one of the six concessions to be awarded this summer.