Jail of 12 months, 3 weeks for dealer who abetted friend in misappropriating casino chips, taking proceeds to Malaysia

SINGAPORE - A dealer who was in need of money enlisted the help of his friend to "steal" about $30,000 worth of casino chips on 10 occasions from his employer, a district court heard.

Malaysians Loh Hong Wai and Gan Ee Kuan, both 32, would split the proceeds of the criminal breach of trust offences and move the money via Woodlands checkpoint to Malaysia.

On Thursday (Nov 23), Loh was sentenced to 12 months and three weeks in jail after he admitted to five of 10 charges - one of conspiracy by abetment with Gan to misappropriate casino chips worth a total of $30,225 from Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino, and four of abetting to remove benefits of criminal conduct from jurisdiction in June.

Gan, a former bus driver, was sentenced to nine months and three weeks' jail for his crimes.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Vikneswaran Kumaran told the court that Loh and Gan had been colleagues at SBS Transit and kept in touch after Loh left the transport company.

Earlier this year, Loh was working at the MBS casino when he contacted Gan and suggested that the latter help him "steal" casino chips from the tables which he manned. He needed money to pay for rent and other personal expenses.

Gan, who patronised the casino, agreed to the plan.

Gan was to ask to change a $1,000 chip to chips of lower value while playing at Loh's table.

Loh would give Gan change of one $500 chip and five $100 chips. Loh would then take the $1,000 chip from Gan, and deposit the chip into the container holding $1,000 chips.

But Loh would surreptitiously take out a few more $1,000 chips and conceal them in the container for $25 chips.

Gan was then to ask to change $100 chips to chips of lower value. Loh would then retrieve four $25 chips from the container, taking also the $1,000 chips he had hidden, and slip them into the stack of $25 chips he handed to Gan.

Between June 11 and July 15, the duo managed to misappropriate $30,225 worth of chips on 10 occasions.

Gan would then exchange the misappropriated chips for cash at the casino at the end of each day.

After they shared the proceeds equally, they would take them to Malaysia. They would meet either at a bus stop near Suntec City, or at an undisclosed location in Johor Baru.

The MBS casino found discrepancies in the accounts for Loh's tables on July 9.

Six days later, both men were caught red-handed carrying out the scheme during live monitoring by surveillance operators. They were detained and handed over to the police.

The police recovered $16,000 of the proceeds of the crime from Loh. They also recovered $975 in the form of casino chips from Gan, who later made restitution of $13,250.

Loh could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for criminal breach of trust; and fined up to $500,000 and/or jailed for up to 10 years on each of the other four offences.

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