Man denies cheating Manila casino

Man denies cheating Manila casino
A police report has also been filed against Dominic Sim in Singapore, alleging that he cheated a Thai group over an investment.

A Singaporean man accused by a casino in the Philippines of cheating it of millions of dollars denied the allegations yesterday.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, Dominic Sim, 37, said in an e-mail yesterday that he had been charged over not paying his hotel bills - not with cheating the Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila.

Sim, chief executive of the Singapore-based Bullion Investment Group, was arrested and charged last month in the Philippines. He was charged with swindling Sureste Properties, which also runs Solaire Resort and Casino, of at least 66,000 pesos (S$2,000).

The public prosecutor had asked that Sim remain in the Philippines and said there was a "high risk" that he would flee, noting that he also allegedly has an outstanding debt to Sureste Properties of about $5 million.

A Solaire representative claimed Sim allegedly tried to cheat the casino of US$30 million (S$40.5 million) in gambling chips using a fake telegraphic transfer. He allegedly took $8 million worth of gambling chips, which the casino released to him first, in February last year. The casino, which has managed to recover only $3 million, reported him to the police.

Sim, who is out on bail but not allowed to leave the country, said: "Neither Bullion Investment Group... nor myself ever sent or used a fake telegraphic transfer to cheat them of $5 million. The said fraudulent telegraphic transfer was sent by one of Bullion's accredited investor... against all our knowledge."

He added that he had been robbed in Manila, leaving him temporarily unable to pay his hotel bill. "I was robbed, framed and charged in Manila over a less than $2,000 non-payment of hotel bills."

Bullion Investment Group, founded in 2013, is a junket casino marketing company. Junket operators are middlemen who bring high-stakes gamblers to casinos for a fee. Investors would also put money with Bullion as capital to play against gamblers in the casino.

Sim has also refuted claims that he cheated investors.

A representative for 16 investors from Thailand had also filed a police report in Singapore against Bullion last week, alleging they had been cheated over an investment they made of more than $600,000.

Sim said: "I am not a shareholder of Bullion... I didn't cheat investors' monies as their investment sum is not to me, but to (the) company. I myself have... invested $1.2 million... into Bullion."

limyihan@sph.com.sg

teezhuo@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 28, 2015.
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