MBS croupier jailed 22 months for cheating
He rigged card game and pocketed $217k together with four accomplices
Three of Yeo's accomplices, (from left) Ho Keng Guan, Lee Mee Leng and Lim Boon Kwang, who were all jailed. Another accomplice, Leow Pui Lee, was also given a jail sentence. Yeo memorised the sequence of cards dealt and informed his accomplices, who then place sure-win bets. ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW
By KHUSHWANT SINGH
HAVING already lost badly at another casino, a Marina Bay Sands croupier came up with a scheme to cheat at baccarat.
Yeo Eng Seng would memorise the sequence of cards he dealt, and surreptitiously inform his four accomplices, who would then place sure-win bets.
A routine check of surveillance footage revealed the deception, and 44-year-old Yeo was yesterday sentenced to 22 months in jail. He cheated the casino of nearly $217,000, of which his cut was about $71,500.
His accomplices were also slapped with prison terms, with the scheme's mastermind. Ho Keng Guan, 43, also jailed for 22 months. His wife, Lee Mee Leng, 40, was sentenced to 14 months' jail. The couple received around $140,300 from the plot.
The other suspects - Singapore Civil Defence Force staff sergeant Lim Boon Kwang, 42, and 50-year-old storekeeper Leow Pui Lee - were sentenced to six months in jail. They were recruited much later and their ill-gotten gains amounted to $2,588 and $2,325 respectively.
When the group pleaded guilty last month, the court heard how Ho, who was unemployed and financially strapped, had heard from a casino employee that there were ways to cheat in the card game of baccarat.
Ho then asked Yeo about this. The dealer, who was not allowed to gamble at the casino he worked at but had run up big losses at the Resorts World Sentosa casino, came up with the plan to memorise the sequence of cards.
Yeo knew that a fresh deck of cards was required once the previous deck had been used up. After breaking the seal, he would peek at several cards at either end of the deck.
The pit supervisor would then cut the deck by placing the second half of the deck on top of the first half. As a result, there would be one continuous series of cards somewhere in the middle of the deck that Yeo had seen.
He would then inform Ho or Lee of this sequence verbally or by using a cellphone.
From April 4, the couple would play at Yeo's table and place bets of $200 each until the memorised sequence came up. They would then bet $2,000 or more as they were sure to win.
The trio also decided to rope in Lim and Leow so as to minimise the risk of detection.
On May 6, a routine check of the previous day's surveillance video footage revealed Yeo's collusion with Ho and Lee.
They were arrested in the casino later that day.
Pleading for leniency, defence counsel Eric Tin said that his clients had returned all the money to the casino.
Each of them could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined up to $150,000
Home, The Straits Times, Thursday, December 19 2013, Pg B12