Suncity Group Holdings Limited, the Asian casino firm, is reported to have released an official statement to deny claims recently made that it is being investigated by authorities in Australia. The inquiry is said to involve alleged links between Chinese crime syndicates and the operator’s controlling shareholder.
Possible Criminal Links
According to a report on Monday, the Hong Kong-listed firm’s name allegedly came up late last week as claims were being made that Australia’s ongoing Targeting Criminal Wealth investigation was investigating criminal gangs possibly using junket services in the country as a means of laundering money through casinos.
Reports by GGRAsia state that Alvin Chau Cheok Wa was a significant stakeholder in Suncity Group Holdings Limited while serving as the boss for privately-held Macau junket firm, Suncity Group. Investigators have yet to release any specifics about their alleged inquiries, but rumour has it they upped the ante on their efforts after claims surfaced that the billionaire businessman may have recently been refused entry to Australia.
Suncity Group Holdings Limited, in response to these whispers, which have since grown louder, stated on Monday that neither the company nor Chau were being investigated. In addition to this, it stated that that the billionaire wasn’t scheduled to travel to Australia in the next twelve months.
Suncity is reported to have said, “The board of Suncity Group Holdings Limited noticed certain media articles recently published in relation to Alvin Chau Cheok Wa in relation to, among others, investigation of certain Australian casinos. He is not aware of the said investigation of such Australian casinos. Mr. Chau clarifies that he is not subject to any Australian investigation as at the date of this announcement. The listed company would like to clarify that [Suncity Group Holdings Limited together with its subsidiaries] has no business operations in Australia.”
The junket-operating Suncity Group is known, however, for running 14 high-roller clubs run via casinos in a number of jurisdictions. These include the Philippines, South Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Australia. This portfolio, according to local newspapers, encompasses a VIP lounge inside Crown Resorts Limited’s giant Crown Melbourne complex, which is currently under investigation for allegedly helping high-value Chinese individuals launder money in Australia.