Macau Legend CEO steps down after illegal gambling arrest

| By Marese O'Hagan
Chan Weng Lin, CEO of casino operator Macau Legend Development, has stepped down from that role today (31 January) after being arrested in Macau for involvement in a criminal syndicate and money laundering.

Macau Legend announced that Chan, who was also executive director and co-chairman, as well as being CEO of junket operator the Tak Chun Group, was arrested and detained by Macau judiciary police on 28 January as part of an investigation into a criminal syndicate that dates back to August 2019.

The judiciary police, meanwhile, announced that two men were taken into custody for gambling-related crimes on that date, though neither were named.

Police stated that the arrests were linked to those carried out in November, when SunCity chairman Alvin Chau was arrested for connections to an illegal gambling ring, along with 10 others.

The group allegedly recruited mainland Chinese residents to gamble online via offshore means.

The two men arrested this month “refused to cooperate” once arrested at a hotel on the Zape strip, according to a statement from the Macau Judicial Police.

Police seized a number of items from the hotel, including computers, electronic storage devices, network servers and relevant documents.

The men were transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office and charged with involvement in a criminal syndicate, illegally operating gambling and money laundering.

In a statement regarding his resignation, Macau Legend stressed that no matters regarding Chan’s resignation needed to be brought to the attention of the company’s shareholders.

But in a separate statement regarding his arrest the company advised shareholders and potential investors to “exercise caution” when dealing in Macau Legend shares.

Macau Legend also added that the incident is not related to any company affairs, but instead was a personal matter for Chan, and that it does not expect the incident to have an “adverse affect” on the business.

One week before the arrests, the Macau judicial police held a meeting with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau as it prepared to crack down on gambling-related crimes.

Attendants at the meeting, which included judicial police chief Xue Zhongming, deputy chief Chen Jianxiong and director of the gaming and economic crime investigation department Su Zhaoqiang discussed what they called “emerging criminal methods” and reviewed current crime prevention methods.

At the end November 2021, Alvin Chau announced his intent to resign from his roles of chairman and executive director of SunCity and chairman and non-executive director of Summit Ascent.

In December, SunCity announced that creditors intend to seize Chau’s assets, potentially including the business, after it was alleged that he defaulted on a HK$300m (£29.0m/€34.0m/US$38.5m) loan following his arrest.

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