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Neptune’s casino ships allegedly linked to Bo Xilai and other mainland officials
The casino cruise operated by the Macau junket operator, Neptune Group Limited, is allegedly linked to “illicit economic transactions” with a long list of influential mainland officials. This includes, according to Caijing Magazine, a business publication, the former Chongqing Communist Party chief, Bo Xilai.
The report mentions that Neptune’s boss Lin Cheuk Chiu, nicknamed the “gaming mogul of the high seas” because he operates a casino on a luxurious 9-storey cruise ship, forms an extensive money-laundering, smuggling and corruption network with some of the mainland’s most prominent businessmen and politicians. These include Huang Guangyu, the former richest man in China and Chairman of China’s top electronic retailer, Gome, as well as the family of the disgraced official, Bo Xilai.
“The results of recent investigations found that the financial records of Bo Gu Kailai (one of Lin’s casino clients and Bo Xilai’s wife) and her family are interconnected with Lin’s casino and his underground banks. Mainland investigators have intercepted numerous businessmen who have financial links with Bo and Gu Kailai, and suspect them of irregular deals with the Bo family.”
The article stated that “while mainland officials and businessmen were sent to prison, Lin is still free and active in Macau casinos,” and added that court documents showed that Lin and his family are actively involved in bribery, money-laundering, smuggling and loan-shark businesses.
According to Caijing Magazine, the cruise has a maximum capacity of five hundred passengers (and a monthly average load of more than 10,000 people) who are shipped out to the high seas to engage in gaming that doesn’t incur tax payment, licensing and other legal restrictions that their counterparts within Macau territory do. Neptune recorded a turnover figure of HKD415 million in 2011.
The company did not respond to MDT’s enquiry over the report.
The British Times also reported, two months ago, that Bo is being investigated for laundering money through Macau. According to the London newspaper, mainland Chinese prosecutors are understood to have secretly arrested six men, late last month, who have alleged links to a money laundering operation “in the world’s most lucrative gambling enclave”, namely, the junket business. Quoting a “source with close links to the Macau police”, the paper wrote that the men were being interrogated in relation to a corruption case involving a “former senior Chinese official.”
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