The Macau Judiciary Police has arrested two mainland Chinese men on suspicion of using counterfeit chips for gambling and exchanging them with others at a casino.
According to TDM Radio, during the operation, a total of 804 fake chips were seized, amounting to approximately HK$5.6 million ($714,246). Macau police are currently pursuing six fugitives and do not rule out the possibility of more funds being involved.
On August 21 the police received a report from Galaxy Macau Casino in Cotai stating that a dealer noticed a difference in texture while collecting 10 chips with a face value of HK$10,000 ($1,275) from a guest.
After machine authentication, it was determined that the chips did not contain the relevant casino chips and were counterfeit. Staff members traced and found the same counterfeit chips within the venue, leading to the apprehension of two suspects.
Following investigation and analysis, the police established that a total of eight individuals used counterfeit chips for gambling on that day. Out of these, six individuals fled the scene after their two accomplices were exposed.
They departed through border control checkpoints and during this time, discarded items in a trash bin. The police subsequently conducted a search at the waste incineration center and recovered over 100 counterfeit chips with a face value of HK$10,000 each.
The police believe that the criminal syndicate successfully exchanged 493 counterfeit chips with a face value of HK$10,000 each at the casino, winning over HK$700,000 ($89,283) in total, with the total amount involved being approximately HK$5.6 million.
The number of gaming-related crimes in Macau in the first three months of 2023 climbed 24.4 percent year-on-year to 158 incidents as tourism flows to the city recovered after pandemic restrictions were lifted, according to the latest report by police and security authorities in the SAR.
Most of these involved police illegal money exchange activities, with 3,655 individuals seized by police for engaging in this activity a significant 78.4 percent increase compared to the same period last year.