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Member of Marina Bay Sands Cheating Gang Pleads Guilty

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A member of a criminal gang that amassed SGD433,730 (US$324,100) in winnings from cheating baccarat games at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) casino pleaded guilty on Wednesday for the illicit use of a card-counting device. The 28-year-old Taiwanese man, Hung Jung-Hao, pled guilty to three charges of violating Singapore's Casino Control Act, including conspiracy to use a device for recording cards while gambling at a casino.

Taking Down the House

Hung's fascination with gambling drew him into an unexpected turn of events. Serendipity struck when he crossed paths with Chou Yu-Lun, his future partner in crime and romantic interest, during his employment at a poker enterprise in Taiwan. Their journey as a criminal duo began when they met other members of the gang during a poker competition that took place in Taiwan toward the end of 2021.

Related: Malaysian Suspect Arrested for Card Recording at Marina Bay Sands

Comprising citizens of Malaysia and Taiwan, this team relied on the art of card counting to enhance its chances of winning in the game of 7UP Baccarat at MBS. Employing a customized approach crafted by an avid enthusiast, they successfully implemented a multi-faceted strategy that incorporated numerical codes linked to card values and colors. These codes were meticulously entered into an Excel sheet, enabling the team to accurately forecast the outcome of their games.

On June 6, 2022, the group arrived in Singapore and checked into the MBS. That's when they put their plan in motion. One of the group stayed in the hotel room and received information about game rotation and card tactics from Hung's girlfriend, who was seated at a Baccarat table. He then plugged the information into the spreadsheet to determine what moves she should make.

To ensure secrecy, this individual discreetly transmitted instructions to Hung's girlfriend through a hidden earpiece. The entire betting strategy was then executed based on the outcome of this covert communication.

At the table, Hung sat beside his girlfriend, providing a distraction that diverted his attention away from her endeavors. In eleven games across eight days, the team meticulously crafted their strategies, while Hung diligently engaged in his duties for a total of eight sessions.

End of the Line

Hung was apprehended on December 22 after a solo revisit to the casino for gambling. Another individual implicated in the case, the Malaysian Chai Hee Keong, aged 46, was detained in June at the Woodlands Police Station, and is now on trial. The remaining members of the operation managed to evade capture and successfully exit the country.

Hung's sentencing is scheduled for later this month. There are various other charges that he could face when he makes that sentencing appearance. He, as well as his conspirators, face a fine of up to SGD150,000 (US$111,930) and possibly a prison term of as many as seven years.

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