It looks like this particular Laotian native accused of cheating off $1.4m from a casino in Singapore also cheated the law -- by dying. The alleged brains behind a scheme to cheat the Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore out of $1.4 million cannot defend himself properly against his charges because apparently, according to his lawyer, he is already dead.
On May 16 (Monday), a Singaporean district court was scheduled to listen to the defense arguments from attorneys who represented the accused, Sengmanivong Soum, 53, a Laotian businessman. The suspect was assumed to be the leader of a group of 14 members that plotted to cheat the Las Vegas Sands casino. Instead of being able to hear the suspect's story right from his own mouth Sengmanivong's attorney Shashi Nathan told the court that his client suffered a serious heart attack in late April.
According to the Straits Times, the attorney submitted a photograph of his client's death certificate and told the court that he was attempting to get the Laoatian authorities to send an official copy of the document.
It was in May 2013 that Sengmanivong, along with his 13 Thai accomplices, were accused of trying to cheat the casino's baccarat tables by knowing in advance the exact order of which cards would come out of the dealer's card shoe. Furthermore, Sengmanivong faced an added charge of helping to organize the theft of a card shoe which contained unused playing cards from the casino's Paiza VIP salon on the day their scheme started.
Prosecutors declared that the group had conducted trial runs of their scam at a casino in Manila, Philippines in April 2013, a month before they carried out their actual plan to cheat the Marina Bay Sands. Right after they arrived in Singapore, the group was found to be performing advance surveillance of the Paiza VIP room to learn how to gain access on the locked card cabinet.
The court trial of the 14-member group started in 2014, and the prosecution took 100 days making their case. Now, prosecutors are figuring out how to go on with the case should the death of Sengmanivong be proven.
If convicted, the remaining 13 defendants will possibly face maximum sentences of paying a fine and being jailed for a period of seven years. Much better than dying, we suppose.