Hong Kong Elite among 16 detained in raid of illicit luxury casino. Hong Kong police detained 16 people this week after raiding an illegal casino housed in a luxury apartment block in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district.
According to local media sources, the anti-triad squad and special duty team of the Kowloon West Regional Police Headquarters raided the unit after alerting the criminal group to rent the apartment at a cost of HK$100,000 per month.
The unit, situated on the top floor of The Masterpiece – overlooking Victoria Harbour and home to 345 high-end apartments, the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the K11 shopping centre – included at least one baccarat table where single bets will start at HK$100,000.
“We believe its daily turnover reached up to HK$10 million, and the gang could pocket HK$1 million per night,” a police source told the South China Morning Post.
Players will play on the lower floor of the apartment and relax over whiskey, wine and cigars on the upper floor, with a lookout posted outside the building and soundproofing mounted on the walls to prevent detection. The illicit casino would run three or four days a week from about 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., officials said, and only normal, recognised clients were allowed to enter.
The identities of those arrested have yet to be made public, however they are said to include 11 alleged clients of the casino operation, among them a barrister, four directors of Hong Kong-based financial firms and three wealthy university students.
The mastermind of the operation, alleged to be a triad member according to some reports, was also arrested as were three women alleged to be working in the casino as dealers. They face up to nine months in jail and a HK$30,000 fine while anyone found guilty of running the casino could spend up to seven years in jail and be fined up to HK$5 million. Authorities have cautioned that more arrests could follow.
[image: Robert Bye]