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Paul Phua Acquitted of Illegal Betting Operation Charges

Macau court sides with Paul Phua, clears the Malaysian businessman of charges of being the mastermind behind an illegal betting operation

The Macau Court of First Instance decided on Tuesday to acquit Malaysian businessman and poker pro Paul Phua of charges of running an illegal betting ring at Wynn Macau during the 2014 World Cup, the Macau News Agency reported citing Mr. Phua’s legal advisor.

The businessman turned a professional poker player was arrested along with 24 other people by the Macau Judiciary Police in the summer of 2014 on suspicions that he was the mastermind behind an illegal scheme for taking wagers on World Cup matches.

Mr. Phua had illegal gambling charges leveled against him but his case only came to trial earlier this month, nearly five years after his arrest. Back in 2014, he was released on bail shortly after he was detained and flew to Las Vegas where he stayed at Caesars Palace.

The businessman’s villa at the luxury Vegas resort was raided by the FBI and he was arrested yet again on suspicions that he ran an illegal gambling operations. The US Department of Justice accused Mr. Phua of running the betting group, transmitting wagering information as well as of organized crime connections.

His lawsuit in the US was later on dismissed as the presiding judge in the case deemed FBI’s raid violation of Mr. Phua’s privacy.

How Mr. Phua’s Macau Trial Unfolded

It took nearly five years after the Malaysian businessman’s initial arrest for the Court of First Instance to take on the case. It took just a couple of weeks for the court to issue its ruling.

The suit was initiated on February 12, the Macau News Agency reports, and the court heard witnesses over the course of the next two days. As mentioned above, the final verdict was issued this past Tuesday.

The Malaysian businessman was acquitted of all charges. The other 14 remaining defendants in the case were, too, cleared of guilt. The presiding judge said on Tuesday that Macau police and the city’s Public Prosecution’s Office failed to obtain sufficient evidence that the equipment and documentation seized during the raid conducted at Wynn Macau rooms belonged to the defendants or was used for the operation of illegal bets.

According to a statement emailed by Paul Phua Poker, Mr. Phua’s poker tips website, to the Macau News Agency, Mr. Phua was arrested at Wynn Macau in the summer of 2014 by mere chance. The businessman happened to be at the resort for a business meeting when he was apprehended by law enforcement officers. The email further stated that the prosecution was not able “to identify any evidence that he had engaged in any illegal activity.”

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The post Paul Phua Acquitted of Illegal Betting Operation Charges appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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