Suspect arrested in Jeju Island casino heist
A South Korean casino heist seems to be coming apart at the seams after the recovery of a majority of the cash that was stolen and the arrest of one suspected thief were announced.
On Wednesday, authorities on the popular South Korean holiday destination Jeju Island declared the arrest of an unidentified Korean male in his 30s. The suspect is thought to have played a role in the recent theft of KRW14.5b (US$13.4M) in cash from multiple VIP gaming room safes at Landing International Development’s Jeju Shinhwa World resort casino.
The Yonhap news agency said that police are keeping details on the low for now, but made an exception to state that the arrested individual is “an employee of an agent company that attracts and manages casino customers.” Police said the man was not a casino staffer, which points to the fact that the suspect probably works for one of the Jeju casino’s junket partners.
Police are still on the lookout for the alleged ringleader, a 55-year-old Malaysian female casino executive who did not return to work after her holidays. On January the 4th, Landing reported the absence of the stolen cash and the fact that the female staffer seemed to have wiped the surveillance video before heading off on holiday in late 2020.
Police eventually reported that the female and two suspected male accomplices – the other being a Chinese national – would have had a hard time moving the cash, which was made up of over 600lb worth of KRW50 notes, making it more than likely that the cash was still hidden somewhere within the country.
And sure enough, police announced last week that they had pinpointed KRW8.1b in cash inside a VIP room safe at the casino. It is still not clear why Landing had been unable to locate this cash before contacting the police about the theft. Police found an additional KRW4b from the Malaysian woman’s domestic quarters, leaving only about KRW2.4b remaining to be found. Both the Malaysian woman and her Chinese accomplice are thought to have fled South Korea. Police have yet to rule out the chance that the malicious trio could have had additional accomplices, and are allegedly scouring the remaining security footage for signs of suspected trickery.