Tseung Kwan O couple arrested for illegal gambling and laundering HK$10m

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 August, 2013, 4:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 August, 2013, 5:02pm

A husband-and-wife team accused of earning about HK$10 million from the operation of illegal gambling dens and laundering the proceeds were arrested by police on Wednesday following an eight-month investigation.

The 44-year-old husband, a suspected Sun Yee On triad member, and his wife, 39, were arrested when police officers raided their flat in Po Ming Court, off Po Shun Road, Tseung Kwan O, at about 6.30am.

Four others – two men and two women – were also arrested by police after being found playing mahjong in the flat.

Chief Inspector Lam Cheuk-ho of Kowloon East regional crime unit said its investigations showed the couple’s home was also being used as illegal mahjong parlour.

Three electronic mahjong tables and HK$3,000 table money were seized inside the flat. “All the windows and the door were closed and sealed with tape and sponge rubber to absorb noise,” Lam said.

After receiving a tip-off last December, police began investigating the couple and examining their financial backgrounds.

The pair are also accused of running illegal mahjong parlours in restaurants and residential units in Tseung Kwan O since 2007. And though police had closed down some of these gambling dens, they had until today failed to catch the couple.

To evade police detection, the couple only served regular known customers from the district.

During the eight-month probe, detectives identified five of the woman’s bank accounts that were allegedly used to launder the couple’s illegal earnings.

“Investigations showed cash ranging from HK$10,000 to hundreds of thousand dollars was deposited into the bank accounts each day, but was quickly withdrawn,” a police officer said.

“The total amount of money laundered through her five bank accounts amount to about HK$10 million over the past six years,” he said.

Lam said he believed the couple were the key figures of in an illegal gambling and money-laundering syndicate. He said the investigation was still continuing.

The six are still being held for questioning and had not been charged.