A prime destination in Asia for gamblers and tourists alike, Jeju, South Korea has grown to be a popular holiday island, home to ten casinos catering only to foreign guests. While the popular spot receives an average of 15 million visitors yearly, Jeju is clearly not immune to its bout of criminal cases.
Most recently, news of one of the country’s largest integrated resorts Jeju Shinhwa has reported a case of missing South Korean banknotes worth a whopping US$ 13.8 million (KRW 14.56 billion). The Hong Kong-backed casino in the southern area of Jeju had immediately reported the issue on hand to the South Korean police prompting the agency to launch an ongoing investigation regarding the case. Details indicate that a Malaysian worker has since been missing after leaving the island back in December for holiday, according to Yonhap News Agency. The employee, a woman in her 50’s, responsible for the missing funds remains at large up to this day.
With the deficit a substantially hefty amount, reports indicate that the missing cash had a weight of at least 280 kg, suggesting more than one person is involved in the crime. The largest denomination of South Korean currency is the 50,000 won note, valued at about US$45 each. Given the size of the total loot, police are now looking into surveillance and security cameras relating to the search but are yet to find actual recordings of when the funds could have disappeared.
Considering the amount of the theft, operator of Jeju Shinhwa, Landing International Development Ltd released an Inside Information Announcement on their official website pertaining to its unfortunate discovery on January 4, 2021.
“The board of directors of the Company wishes to inform the shareholders and potential investors of the Company that on 4 January 2021, the management of the Group discovered that certain funds amounting to approximately KRW 14.56 billion won, belonging to the Group kept in Jeju, South Korea, was missing”, the statement noted.
“Currently, the management of the Group is unable to reach the employee in charge of the funds. The company has immediately reported the incident to the police in South Korea and they are currently investigating the incident”, it further added.
Following the announcement, Landing’s shares in Hong Kong plummeted a record low of 7.6% down, only to recover 6.4% the succeeding day.
Fresh details on the unresolved case
So far, South Korean police reported finding a pile of cash potentially linked to theft in a safe at a resort casino in Jeju Island on January 13, 2021. The recent discovery amounting to KRW 8.1 billion (~US$ 7.39 million) is still being investigated, according to Yonhap News Agency. Billions of KRW have likewise been discovered at the residence of the prime suspect, a female Malaysian executive in charge of the missing funds.
Further updates of the case are yet to be disclosed given the pending investigation.