Ex-MBS dealer jailed for misappropriating $34k worth of casino chips

Tan Hong Khee was sentenced to nine months' jail for committing criminal breach of trust of $34,000 worth of casino chips.
Tan Hong Khee was sentenced to nine months' jail for committing criminal breach of trust of $34,000 worth of casino chips. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A dealer who misappropriated $34,000 worth of casino chips at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino was sentenced to nine months' jail on Tuesday (July 11).

Tan Hong Khee, 29, a Malaysian, was working at MBS when he committed criminal breach of trust of $34,000 worth of casino chips in denominations of $1,000 between Feb 1 and 20 this year. He pleaded guilty.

He also admitted to two counts of removing five pieces of casino chips which represented his benefits from criminal conduct from Singapore to Malaysia on Feb 3 and 20, with nine others taken into consideration.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Vikneswaran Kumaran said Tan, who had been working as a dealer since April 2015, would misappropriate the $1,000-denomination casino chips from the baccarat table.

Whenever any patron at the table he was working at lost bets of $1,000 or more, he would remove the corresponding amount of chips from the float when he was sure that nobody was paying attention.

He would then conceal the chips in his closed palm, pretend to scratch the back of his neck and drop the chips into his tucked-in shirt through the collar.

During break-time, he would transfer the casino chips into his bag. At the end of his duty, he would leave the casino with the chips that he had misappropriated that day.

Investigation showed that between Feb 1 and 20, he misappropriated $34,000 worth of chips in this manner over 20 occasions.

Further investigation showed that he brought the chips back to Johor Baru where he lives.

He removed $5,000 worth of chips via Tuas Checkpoint each time on Feb 3, and on Feb 20.

He sought the help of a man, known to him as Alvin, to encash the misappropriated casino chips.

After accumulating a number of chips, Tan would contact Alvin and hand over the chips to him in Malaysia. Alvin would encash the chips in MBS and pass the cash to Tan, who would give him 10 per cent of the proceeds as commission.

Tan used some of the money to repay a loan that he had taken from loansharks after losing money gambling.

He was arrested on Feb 28 at Tuas Checkpoint. Police seized $10,000 in cash, which was the remaining cash proceeds from the cashed-in casino chips.

Tan could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for criminal breach of trust as a servant. For the offence under Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, he could have been fined up to $500,000 and/or jailed for up to 10 years on each charge.