Criminal intentions curbed

A crooked plot to fleece the house at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore backfired this festive season after officials caught a Taiwanese national up to mobile phone trickery.

sent the suit and value of cards to an online chat group

A member of a gambling syndicate, Hung Jung-Hao, 27, allegedly used his mobile phone to record cards dealt in a game of 7 Up Baccarat at the Sands Corporation-owned casino and then sent the suit and value of cards to an online chat group.

The chat group — titled in Chinese as: “15/12 Work in Singapore Chat Group (9)” — is part of the alleged multiple-person network that is accused of “conspiracy with several others.” The syndicate reportedly created the chat group for the express purpose of recording the cards dealt at Marina Bay Sands casino.

Hung’s suspicious play at the casino was noted at 1:49am and 1:52am on December 23.

Suspects flee

According to Channel News Asia, three suspects in the mobile phone scheme “have been identified but have fled, while the other three co-accused are unknown.” Hung has been in custody since December 26; his lawyer, Sng Kheng Huat, was not able to successfully argue his client’s release on bail Friday.

his presence is required to trace the remaining co-conspirators”

Instead, the prosecution requested Hung remain in custody. The prosecutor reasons that Hung is involved in a syndicated case with multiple people, and that: “his presence is required to trace the remaining co-conspirators.”

While Hung’s lawyer argued his client might end up getting remanded “for longer than his eventual sentence, which might not involve a jail term,” the prosecutors hit back by citing law. Namely, that a court could mandate further detainment where the suspect is a foreigner and where syndicated operations are involved.

This led the judge to observe Hung was a flight risk, an opinion with which the prosecution agreed. The judge then slapped Hung with remand of another week; with the court’s permission he gets taken out for investigations.

Accused seeking fast-track exit

Hung’s lawyer wants his client out of Singaporean custody as soon as possible, asking officials for the case to be fast-tracked as Hung is a foreigner. According to CNA, the prosecutor stated the Marina Bay Sands case would be brought forward “if possible.”

As the news network reported, under the country’s Casino Control Act, anyone who uses a device to record or count cards dealt into play at a casino can be sent to prison for up to seven years, and/or fined up to S$150,000 ($111,865).