Macau: Authorities thwart suspected fraudulent chip operation at Cotai casino

Law enforcement authorities in Macau have successfully dismantled an alleged fraudulent chip operation that inflicted significant losses on a Cotai casino, totaling at least MOP 5.675 million (US$700,000).

During a press conference held on Wednesday, a representative from the Judiciary Police said as many as 493 counterfeit chips were found circulating within the casino premises over a brief two-hour period, Macau Business reports. Notably, each of these chips carried a face value of MOP 10,000.

Subsequent investigations, currently in progress, are aiming to ascertain the precise extent of the financial damages incurred. Preliminary findings suggest that as many as 804 counterfeit chips could be linked to the case.

The illicit activities were initially brought to light by a vigilant croupier who noticed irregularities. The croupier’s sharp observation led to the retrieval of ten suspicious chips from the gaming table, each displaying noticeable surface anomalies. The subsequent examination revealed that these chips lacked the expected electronic components.

The operation resulted in the apprehension of two unemployed mainland Chinese individuals, while a count of six additional suspects remains at large. During the operation, authorities confiscated a total of 182 counterfeit chips valued at MOP 10,000 each from the detained individuals. Additionally, 19 authentic chips were recovered.

The group believed to be responsible for the scam operated on the casino’s gaming floor for around two hours, where they carried out gambling bets and exchanged chips. As per the report, ten unsuspecting gamblers became victims of the scam.

In response to the police intervention, several suspects opted to hastily depart from Macau, making use of the Border Gate checkpoint to enter mainland China in a bid to evade capture. The investigation remains ongoing as authorities work to comprehensively address the extent of the fraudulent chip operation and bring all involved parties to justice.