Card filmer nabbed

Police have arrested another player in the new crime trend of filming card play at casinos for financial gain.

conspiring to use a mobile phone to film cards

Under a Singapore arrest warrant, Royal Malaysia Police took a 35-year-old Malaysian into custody Friday before handing him over to the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Sunday. Officials accuse the unnamed man of conspiring to use a mobile phone to film cards dealt at Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s Marina Bay Sands casino.

Police believe the man is part of an illegal syndicate cracked open in December by the SPF’s Criminal Investigation Department’s Casino Crime Investigation Branch.

According to an SPF statement, the mobile filming took place when cards were being dealt at baccarat games.

One suspect still at large

The suspected related syndicate the SPF’s CID branch uncovered on December 26 resulted in a 27-year-old Taiwanese man charged in court for his involvement after police seized casino chips worth more than $700,000.

The suspect used his phone to share the cards’ values and suits in a game of 7 Up Baccarat to a Chinese-named online chat group set up solely to record cards dealt at Sands’ Bayfront Avenue casino. Friday’s arrest means only one of the three suspects behind the syndicate remains at large.

Under Singapore’s Casino Control Act, counting or recording cards at a casino is illegal and comes with a maximum prison sentence of seven years and/or a S$150,000 ($113,150) fine.

Chinese crime networks have deep roots in the casino-filled Golden Triangle area, luring workers from Myanmar, Singapore, and other Southeast Asia countries to engage in illegal online scams. If the Chinese crime gangs are behind the filming of cards, they’re once again showing their ability to diversify their illegal enterprises, reaching even into the heart of a US-owned establishment.

New crime trend?

While not the same thing, illegally filming gambling in a casino is not limited to Asian crime syndicates. In January, Minnesota’s gambling enforcer revealed it had caught two brothers running an illegal TikTok gambling scheme at two casinos.

charged a subscription fee and a percentage of the money gambled

One of the brothers was livestreaming casino slot play for financial gain to his TikTok account that had 165,000 followers. Viewers gave him money to gamble on their behalf and, in turn, he charged a subscription fee and a percentage of the money gambled.

The American Gaming Association stated it had never come across a gambling scheme like it before.

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