Crime & Courts

Genting casino chip heist: Cops tracking down mastermind and four others, case 'almost-solved'

KUANTAN: They frequently visited the casino in Genting Highlands in Bentong for gambling activities before hatching a plan to steal casino chips from a room which usually housed the VIP customers.

On Oct 28, two male suspects broke into one of the VIP casino rooms through the emergency exit at about 7am before making off with 1,160 chips worth RM4.6 million.

The duo handed the chips to several other "middlemen" including gamblers and casino junkets who helped to exchange the VIP casino tokens into cash but they ran out of luck several hours later as the casino management got wind of their act.

Police have to date arrested 10 individuals including a Chinese national, aged between 30 and 59 years old who exchanged the tokens and recovered 428 casino chips worth RM2.9 million, and are also tracking down five others including the 44-year-old mastermind from Raub.

Pahang police chief Datuk Seri Yahaya Othman said investigations revealed the casino management were alerted to the theft around 10am on Oct 28.

"After inspecting the closed-circuit television camera footage, they saw two men entering a building which houses the casino rooms through the emergency exit before forcing open one of the VIP casino room emergency doors at about 7am.

"Acting on information, a team from the Bentong Criminal Investigation Department conducted a series of raids around Genting Highlands, Raub, Ampang(Selangor) and Nilai (Negri Sembilan) between Oct 29 and Nov 1. Ten individuals including a foreigner in connection with the casino theft were detained.

"Police have recovered 149 casino chips from the suspects along with 279 stolen tokens which the suspects had exchanged for cash at Genting Highlands casino worth RM2.9 million and some RM16,400 cash.

"We are tracking down the missing 732 casino tokens," he told reporters during a press conference at the state police contingent headquarters here today.

On Nov 4, police confirmed that they were tracking down suspects involved in stealing RM4.6 million worth of casino chips at a casino in Genting Highlands on Oct 28.

Yahaya said police were in the midst of tracking five others including the main suspect, who has previous records for drug offences.

Records showed that all of them were still in the country.

Meanwhile, Yahaya said investigations revealed the 10 suspects who were remanded at the Bentong police station consist of odd-job workers and one of them was a former employee.

"The suspects were those familiar with the casino and frequently went there. They had special privilege cards which allowed them to redeem the casino tokens for cash.

"The casino room which the two men entered was not used during the day of the incident and that section was only for VIP customers. The token can be only redeemed for cash at Genting Highlands and each token has a chip for security purposes," he said.

Yahaya said the case is being investigated under Section 457 of the Penal Code for breaking into to commit burglary.

He said police are looking for five individuals namely Lee Kien Keong, 44; Sam Ting Gai, 42; Ho Kian Lim, 46; Ho Kian Yew, 51 and Chung Chee Liu, 39, to aid in investigations.

He urged the public with information on the five suspects to contact the Bentong district police headquarters at 09-222222 or to go to any nearest police station.

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