Thursday, June 08, 2017

7 Years in Prison for Largest Counterfeit Casino-Chip Scam in History

Were all those chips fake?
Of course it happened at the Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore. The mastermind of the fake-chip-cashing scam was Toh Hock Thiam and the amount of fake chips cashed out in the casino on a single day and night, November 22, 2015, was some $1.3 million.

That is a major scam, even by Singapore casino-scam standards. It is amazing to me how many different casino-cheating operations happen in Singapore casinos, and how many of them involve inside-cheating dealers, though I do not know if Toh  Hock Thiam had any casino-employee cohorts at the tables or at the casino cage.

But what he did have was 16 "runners" to cash out the chips, all of which were $1,000 chips and were of excellent quality. In fact, the counterfeit chips had five of the nine security features that the casino's genuine chips had, and they were not detectable to the naked eye.

A week later, a casino cashier employee noticed a slight defect on one of the chips, which led to the investigation of the scam and the arrests of Thiam and two syndicate underlings he'd hired to distribute the fake chips to the runners inside the casino's bathrooms.

My take: These were the best counterfeit chips since a Las Vegas chip counterfeiter named Charles O'Reilly (called Chipper Charley for his trade) manufactured scores of fake $100 chips in his garage for several Vegas casinos and cashed them all out--by a team of knockout Vegas beauties who moonlighted as showgirls.