Beautician jailed seven months for conspiracy to use fake chips at MBS

Tang Shiwei was jailed for seven months for conspiring with three others to use counterfeit chips at Marina Bay Sands.
Tang Shiwei was jailed for seven months for conspiring with three others to use counterfeit chips at Marina Bay Sands.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A beautician was jailed for seven months on Monday (Aug 1 ) for conspiring with three others to use counterfeit chips at Marina Bay Sands (MBS).

Tang Shiwei, 26, a Chinese national and a Singapore permanent resident, faced 12 charges of exchanging fake chips with a face value of $1,000 each at the cashier counters at MBS for cash on Nov 22 last year.

She pleaded guilty to one count involving four pieces of counterfeit chips and had the remaining charges considered during her sentencing.

In all, she exchanged a total of 30 counterfeit $1,000 chips for a total of $30,000 in cash. Her total reward was $600.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Zhongshan said on Nov 22 last year, runners were recruited by a transnational counterfeit casino chip syndicate to exchange more than a thousand $1,000 denomination casino chips at MBS in Bayfront Avenue.

The runners were to first exchange a few fake chips at gaming tables for genuine ones of small denominations, and then mix the genuine chips with the remaining fake chips and exchange the chips at cashier counters for cash.

To evade detection, the runners were told not to exchange more than $5,000 worth of chips at a time.

Upon completion of the task, each runner would pass the cash received to the recruiter, and receive a sum of money as a reward.

MBS first detected the fake chips on Nov 29 last year. It immediately conducted a recall exercise for all $1,000 casino chips and reported the matter to the police.

Subsequent investigations resulted in the arrest and charging of multiple persons connected with the syndicate.

The total amount of losses suffered by MBS exceeded $1 million.

Tang's lawyer Sunil Sudheesan said in mitigation that his client has two young children, aged three and 10 months, and is married to a hairdresser.

He said Tang trusted her cousin, a 30-year-old Chinese national. He pleaded to the court to be merciful to Tang, who was crying in the dock during the mention.

Seven others - three men and four women - have been jailed between six and 22 months for similar offences.

The case against the co-conspirators is pending.

Tang could have been fined up to $150,000 and/or jailed for up to seven years.