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Posted on: February 12, 2024, 09:12h.
Last updated on: February 12, 2024, 09:12h.
The former president of the Macau Chinese Bank has been arrested for fraud, according to news reports from the gambling hub.
Yau Wai Chu is accused of securing bogus loans for purported Macau casino projects that bilked the bank out of the equivalent of around US$62 million, according to an indictment from the Macau Public Prosecutor’s Office.
News of the indictment was first reported by local broadcaster TDM TV and subsequently by Macau Business.
Chu is accused of leading a criminal organization of 14 other individuals involved in the fraud. They have each been charged with criminal association, bank fraud, and document forgery.
Some of the fraudulent loans were related to non-existent construction projects at major properties like the Londoner, Venetian, Grand Lisboa, Treasure Island, MGM, and Wynn casinos, according to prosecutors.
There were also loan requests related to the expansion of the light rapid transit line to Hengqin, which is currently under construction and expected to open in 2025. In other instances, the conspirators simply invented fake companies to apply for loans, prosecutors claim.
Loans were signed off by bank employees who were members of the conspiracy, according to the indictment. Chu is also accused of persuading the bank’s administration to forgo the proper checks and balances when employing new staff. Some of these employees are listed as defendants who colluded to approve fraudulent loans, per the indictment.
The indictment also names Bobo Ng, former director of Hou Kong Daily News, a Hong Kong-based Chinese-language newspaper. Ng, who is currently in preventative detention, was a representative of at least one of the companies that requested bank loans for bogus contracts, according to prosecutors.
Co-Ringleader at Large
Ng has longstanding links to Liu Haigui, who is accused of being the joint-ringleader of the fraud along with Chu. Liu is currently untraceable, according to prosecutors. Ng’s ex-husband, David Zou, and sister are also named in the indictment.
Liu was investigated for document forgery in Macau in 2014, but Macau public prosecutor Kong Chi assigned the case to himself and archived it the same day. That meant charges were dropped, according to court documents. The case was referenced in Kong’s trial for corruption and bribery last year, where it was also claimed that Kong and Liu were friends.
Kong was ultimately found guilty of a multitude of charges, including abuse of power, breach of judicial secrecy, and bribery. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison in January this year.