Macau Credit Card Scheme Gaining Attention
A top cross-border syndicate has found a way to avoid the strict currency controls imposed by China.
This scam includes using Macau casinos as well as the China UnionPay network within the state-run banking system. The end result is a multi-billion dollar racket of over HK$50.23 billion which has crossed over the borders illegally.
According to the South China Morning Post who has viewed documentation which explains this scam, UnionPay already started investigating the matter last month when it was revealed that handheld swipe-card devices in Macau are used in order to provide cash to cardholders for gambling.
Furthermore, it was shown that 99Bill.com, a third-party processing company on the mainland, used mobile devices to show large cash transfers which are disguised as purchases of expensive items such as jewelry.
It is known that 99Bill.com then authorizes these transactions and the remittance of funds from the banks on the mainland. 99Bill.com then also authorizes the remittances of these payments to bank accounts in Macau of the shops which are involved in this scam.
ICBC and Bank of China are the two state-run banks which have been implicated in the scam yet both banks deny having any involvement in this racket. The Post, however, has seen bank receipts which are linked to payments made by UnionPay cards which were credited to these specific shops in Macau.
According to a report by FTI Consulting, while China has strict foreign exchange regulations in place, there is clearly a lot of casino activity going on in Macau which far exceeds these exchange limits.