TWO Chinese nationals have been sentenced to jail for two years after they were nabbed for stealing chips worth over $100,000 from patrons at two Singapore casinos – Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.
A Straits Times report yesterday said that duo had used a simple, yet apparently effective trick to nick the chips – sticking double-sided adhesive tape on their palms.
The two – Zhou Haiming, 41, and Luo Jianguo, 37 – and another friend, Huang Xiaomei, reportedly went on a three-week spree at the two casinos and successfully returned home to China after their $100,000 haul.
But they returned to Singapore just over a week later with the same plan in hand.
Zhou and Luo, however, were picked up by the authorities on October 24 last year as they tried to enter the Marina Bay Sands casino, the report said. They were found with several pieces of adhesive tape, cut and ready for use.
The two, who were at first sentenced to 18 months’ jail in May, failed their appeal at the High Court yesterday and were given an extension to their terms.
Each had pleaded guilty to one count of criminal conspiracy to commit theft and one of removing criminal proceeds.
According to Straits Times, Huang is still at large.
At the hearing, Zhou and Luo, both from the Jiangxi province in China, informed the court that they were introduced via WeChat to Huang, whom they were told has been earning “a lot of money at the casino in Singapore”.
Upon meeting up in Singapore on Sep 18 last year, the trio, after learning from Huang how to use the sticky palm trick to steal chips, started their three week spree.
In their modus operandi, one person would be assigned to palming the chips while the other two would distract their victims, most of whom were elderly patrons.
According to Straits Times, the trio nicked a total of $100,225 worth of chips on 284 occasions from more than 60 patrons. The loot was shared with Huang, who was given 20 percent.