Croupier and uncle jailed for scam

For more than 1 1/2 years, an uncle and his croupier nephew teamed up to cheat the Marina Bay Sands casino of $108,500.

On Tuesday, they had another thing in common: a nine-month jail sentence.

Pleading for a shorter jail term for the nephew, 25-year-old Chin Jun Cheng, the defence argued that he committed the offences to help out his relative, Ong Teck Meng, 40. But District Judge Soh Tze Bian held that both were equally guilty.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhas Malhotra had urged the court to impose a minimum jail term of nine months as a large amount of money was involved and the duo had been scamming for a long period. He also pointed out that Chin, who would either deal winning cards to his uncle or overpay him, had abused his employer's trust.

The court heard that Ong, a taxi driver, had gambled away his life savings by the middle of 2011. He then approached Chin, who was working at the casino. Only this year did casino officers catch on to the duo's operation.

While manning a baccarat table on Jan 25, Chin was seen giving Ong $3,500 in chips when the uncle exchanged two $1,000 chips for smaller denominations. Ong would cash in the chips at the end of the day and stash the money in the boot of his Toyota car. Police seized more than $84,000 in cash from the car. He would also send money to his girlfriends in Taiwan and Thailand and his relatives in Malaysia.

Both men, who pleaded guilty to misappropriating the money, could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.


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