Suspected boss of fake casino chip syndicate nabbed

Toh Hock Thiam was charged in court, under the Casino Control Act, with using counterfeit chips at the MBS casino.
Toh Hock Thiam was charged in court, under the Casino Control Act, with using counterfeit chips at the MBS casino.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A 54-year-old Singaporean was charged in court under the Casino Control Act yesterday morning with using counterfeit chips at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino.

Toh Hock Thiam, believed to be the leader of a syndicate responsible for distributing the counterfeit chips, was arrested on New Year's Eve in Malaysia.

He allegedly instigated a man to recruit runners to use counterfeit chips at the casino. On Nov 22, one of the runners used two chips with a value of $2,000 in total.

Police said officers from the Casino Crime Investigation Branch started investigations into a case of suspected counterfeit chips used at the MBS casino last November.

A total of 19 suspects have been charged in court over their suspected involvement as part of the syndicate for possession and the use of counterfeit MBS casino chips.

Police also seized counterfeit casino chips worth more than $1 million, mobile phones and cash.

Toh was nabbed in Malaysia with the help of the Malaysian police and the Macau Judiciary Police. He was handed to Singapore police on Jan 1.

He is in remand and will return to court on Friday. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in jail or a fine of up to $150,000, or both.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations & Intelligence) Tan Chye Hee thanked the Malaysian and Macau police for their help. "We are appreciative of the assistance from our foreign police counterparts and will spare no effort to bring to justice, criminals who commit crimes in Singapore and flee our borders thereafter."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 03, 2016, with the headline 'Suspected boss of fake casino chip syndicate nabbed'. Print Edition | Subscribe