Hunt is on for South Korean casino employee accused of stealing millions

By William Brown Updated
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A former employee is being chased by South Korean police, accused of stealing US$13.4 million from a local casino.

Asgam reports that authorities in Jeju are continuing to hunt for the former Landing Casino employee, but have said that even if they find her, there is no guarantee the casino’s operator will have its funds returned.

According to a report, Jeju’s provincial police agency is not only investigating the whereabouts of the employee but also whether Landing is entitled to get its money back.

Under South Korea’s Article 8 of the Act on the Concealment of Crime Profits and Punishment Act, all criminal proceeds and property derived from crime profits related to criminal activities, and property obtained from compensation for criminal activities are subject to confiscation.

They can only be returned to the claimant pending the judgement of the court following prosecution of the accused, but if identified as criminal funds, are to be redirected to the national treasury instead.

A famous South Koeran case from 2011 was cited, where US$9.8 million was found buried under a garlic field and eventually confiscated after being found to be the proceeds of an internet gambling operation.

Landing Casino has already stated that the US$11.6 million in stolen funds already recovered by Jeju police are designated as operating funds of its parent, Landing International Development.

The funds are currently being held in a bank designated by the National Police Agency.

Police last month arrested one of three people alleged to be involved in the theft – a man in his 30s of Korean descent who is believed to have assisted the main suspects.

Police find cash at South Korean casino

Unidentified cash worth US$7.4 million was found by police at a South Korean casino.

Gambling Insider reported in January that police found the cash on Jeju Island, a casino in the country and the cash may be connected to theft by an employee of the company.

The Jeju Provincial Police Agency confirmed that investigators are in the process of analysing if the banknotes discovered at a safe at the casino, are part of funds that went missing from the Landing Casino at Jeju Shinhwa World last week.

Investigators also confirmed that a separate sum of money worth several billion South Korean won was found at the residence of a female Malaysian executive, who is reportedly a key suspect in the case.

Having secured camera footage from the casino, police are now searching for the employee who was in charge of handling funds at the casino.

But video recordings at the time of the alleged theft have been erased.

“We are tracking the whereabouts of the cash and the person in question by checking CCTV footage,” police said.

Landing International Development, the Hong Kong-based operator of the casino, disclosed the cash disappearance last week, having filed a police report through its local affiliate.

A statement from the operator last week read: “The board is currently gathering information in relation to the incident and is still investigating the matter.”

Jeju Dream Tower casino set to open in March

A new South Korean casino is set to launch in March, according to Asgam.

Korean-based tourism company Lotte Tour Development could launch operations at Jeju Dream Tower soon than forecast, as it is planning to apply for a permit before the end of this month to relocate its current foreigner only casino from the Lotte Hotel Jeju to Jeju Dream Tower, the $1.4 billion development that opened on December 18, 2020.

Pending completion of a Casino Impact Study Assessment and approval from local authorities, the goal is to open the new casino in March.

The relocation would expand the company’s current gaming space by almost five times to more than 5000 square metres and see its five gaming tables and 51 machines rise to 150 tables and 300 machines.

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