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Macau Court Denies Habeas Corpus for Suncity-Linked Detainees, Extends Detention



The Court of Final Instance in Macau has taken a firm stance in a high-profile case involving former Suncity Group chairman Alvin Chau, rejecting habeas corpus applications from four defendants linked to the case. This decision signifies the court’s commitment to maintaining legal integrity in the face of complex and significant gambling-related charges.

In a significant legal development, Macau’s highest court has denied habeas corpus applications for four individuals associated with the Suncity Group case, including Celestino Ali, Si Tou Chi Hou, Cheung Yat Ping, and Chan Che Hee.

The defendants, who have been in custody since November 2021, sought legal relief through habeas corpus to secure release from pre-trial detention. However, the Court of Final Instance has not only rejected these requests but also extended their detention period to three years, indicating the gravity of the allegations they face.

The integrity of the legal process is crucial, especially in high-stakes cases involving alleged illegal gambling activities. The court’s decision reflects its dedication to thorough and fair legal proceedings, ensuring that all aspects of the case are meticulously examined before reaching a verdict.


Keep abreast of this unfolding case in Macau’s judicial system. It represents a pivotal moment in the region’s approach to handling complex legal issues surrounding the gambling industry.

Pedro Leal, the lawyer representing the detainees, highlighted that the accusations are based on a law from the 1990s. He argued that the authorities should have either released the accused 24 months after their detention or reached a definitive court decision by now.

The group, which includes Celestino Ali, Cheong Chi Kin, Chau Chun Hee, Lou Seak Fong, Philip Wong Pak Ling, and Leong Su Weng, was acquitted of fraud charges. However, they were found guilty of illegal exploitation of gaming in an unauthorized location through “under-the-table” bets and illicit exploitation of gambling outside authorized locations via online and network gambling.

The court revealed that the criminal operation garnered HK$17.6 billion through under-the-table betting and HK$7.2 billion through online and network gaming.


The TSI has maintained Alvin Chau’s 18-year prison sentence for criminal association and illegal gaming exploration. Additionally, the court has set his bail at HK$6.5 billion. Four defendants, including Celestino Ali, Cheong Chi Kin, Chau Chun Hee, and Philip Wong Pak Ling, had their sentences reduced from 15 years to 12 years and 6 months.

This case is a crucial example of Macau’s judicial system addressing complex issues in the gambling sector, underscoring the seriousness with which the region approaches legal matters related to gaming and its regulation.

Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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