'Liuhecai' operator gets jail, record fine

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sun, Feb 03, 2008 - Page 2

A major operator of liuhecai (六合彩), a popular illegal gambling play on the numbers of Mark Six of Hong Kong, was sentenced to four years in prison and fined a record-high NT$8.3 billion (US$258 million) by the Taiwan High Court's Tainan branch on Friday.

Lu Po-hsien (盧伯賢), 48, one of the most notorious operators of the lottery, ran his illegal business in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

Police arrested Lu in Chiayi in March 2006, seizing NT$500 million in cash and NT$1.7 billion in checks. They later froze NT$6.3 billion in his domestic and Hong Kong bank accounts.

Lu's jail sentence was reduced to two years in accordance with a commutation statute passed last year.

The sentence is the final verdict, the ruling said.

It also said that during the investigation, Lu told prosecutors he would donate the NT$5 million in cash seized by the authorities in return for a suspension of the indictment, but prosecutors rejected the offer.

The presiding judge, Tsai Chung-yi (蔡崇義), said the fine would be given to the national treasury.

As part of Lu's illegal profit was deposited in Hong Kong banks, prosecutors would try to retrieve the money by cooperating with international authorities, Tsai said.