Missing Korean casino funds mostly found 

By Ethan Anderson Updated
South Korea to play a big role in COVID-recovery for gambling in Asia

A South Korean casino operator said it expects to recover millions of dollars that was stolen from its casino in January.

Gambling Insider reports that Landing International Development said it expects to recover US$11.8 million that was stolen from one of its casinos.

The operator runs Jeju Shinhwa World on Jeju Island and informed investors that the cash had gone missing from the venue.

One week later, police announced they recovered about half of the unidentified cash, potentially connected to an alleged theft by an employee at the company.

Landing has now said that US$11.8 billion of the missing funds had been recovered after three arrests were made by the Jeju Special Self-Governing Provincial Police Agency of Korea.

The money is currently being kept in a deposit account of a bank under the name of Jeju Police.

A statement from Landing said: “The seized money is expected to be part of the amount of the group missed as a result of the incident.

“The investigation of Jeju Police is still on-going and it is anticipated that the seized money will be returned to the group after the relevant investigation and/or legal procedures are completed.”

In early March, Landing said it expects to report a three per cent year-on-year revenue decline for 2020, as well as a 10 to 20 per cent decline in net loss, with the company’s expected losses largely exacerbated by the casino theft.

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

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

Asgam reported in February 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 Korean 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.”

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