Fugitive real estate tycoon Chaung Chou-wen is finally apprehended by Taiwanese authorities for his involvement in $151 million illegal gambling ring.
Respected Taiwanese Businessman Chaung Chou-wen Arrested
Taiwan needed some time, but it has finally caught up with Chaung Chou-wen a respected businessman across Southeast Asia who went on the lam when the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) announced back in August that it is searching for him in relation to an illegal online gambling business operating out of Taichung City.
Chaung, who is chairman of Taichung’s Xin Li Wang Intl Holding Group, and holds honorary titles in numerous countries in the region, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia, piqued the interest of the CIB for his alleged involvement in money laundering schemes, organized crime and illegal gambling.
He gave CIB the slip back in August, having caught wind of his pending arrest, and decided to skip the country. The original investigation leading to these developments go back to January when the CIB raided an affiliated gambling network, which was then linked to Chuang.
Running a $151m Illegal Gambling Operation
In the course of the investigation, Chuang was identified as the owner of the operation, which prompted authorities to look into him and his real estate holdings in Taiwan, as well as abroad. Narrowly escaping arrest, Chuang fled the country on a private jet.
Chuang’s operation was no minnow, and might have been one of the most significant under-the-table operations there are. According to investigators, his operation has accepted over $151 million from bettors both in Taiwan and China.
China, which has been adamant on illegal gambling, has reached out to Taiwan on several occasions to urge the government to take actions and crackdown on illicit operations that bleed Chinese gambling revenue.
As part of Chuang’s arrest, authorities have seized a number of luxury vehicles as well as real estate assets. The recent crackdown on illegal gambling operations in Taiwan has been assisted by Chinese authorities. Despite both countries’ critical differences and diplomatic cold snap, security forces have been working together to stem cross-border gambling.
Chinese Overtures Abroad Guarantee Gambling Revenue in Macao
China has had a role to play in ensuring better revenue streams for Macao, the special administrative region under Chinese rule that is often referred to as the gambling capital of the world, and certainly that of Asia.
The country’s involvement in Southeast Asia has been tangible. China has pressured the Philippines and Cambodia seeking to disrupt the local gambling industry, and specifically the so-called offshore gambling operations, as they have been linked to kidnappings and exploitation of Chinese citizens.