San Wei Koh, a Singapore national, gets into a New South Wales jail after Australian authorities collected more than $600,000 from a Star Casino safety deposit box. The high-rolling gambler was sentenced to 6 months in prison after failing to convince the court that a family-run brothel was the source of his wealth.
According to the Newcastle Herald, the Singaporean arrived in Australia in April 2015. During that time, he declared that he was not carrying more than $10,000. However, after a week of his arrival, Koh deposited $300,000 into a safety deposit box at Sydney's The Star casino. He deposited another $700,000 the day after that.
Koh went on to gamble a little and have made significant withdrawals prior to the casino staff alerting the police of Koh's suspicious behavior. The police found $600,000 remaining in the safety deposit box and took Koh for questioning.
Mr. Koh claimed that the $700,000 belonged to his aunt, who apparently operated a brothel in Newcastle. Koh told authorities that his aunt asked him to retrieve the money on behalf of her ex-husband who live in China. The Singaporean said when he went to his aunt's house, no one was home, so he let himself inside through an unlocked back door, collected the suitcase, and left the premise. He claims that he had transferred the $100,000 to his aunt's ex-husband. However, police are unable to verify his existence.
Apparently, Koh's aunt denied being related to him and also denied of any knowledge of the $700,000 Koh is in possession of. Mr. Koh also could not explain the source of the $300,000 he initially deposited as well as the $200,000 he deposited separately.
Judge Graeme Henson described Koh's testimony as having "a sense of being less than the full narrative." The judge rejected Koh's attorney's request for a suspended sentence but however reduced the length of prison time after Koh had provided authorities information that had led to two other persons being charged with money laundering offences. The $600,000 that was in Koh's safety deposit box had been confiscated and forfeited by the authorities.