High-Grade Counterfeit Chips Scam Thwarted at Sydney’s Star Casino

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In a daring move, right out of a Hollywood thriller, a man attempted to dupe Sydney’s Star Casino with what has been described as “exceptionally high-grade counterfeit chips.” However, when his ruse was identified by vigilant staff at the casino, the man hastily retreated from the premise and, flying by the seat of his pants, caught a flight back to China merely hours after his failed escapade, as detailed by Australia’s Daily Telegraph.

The gambler, an unidentified Chinese national, landed in Australia on March 29. Without wasting so much as a moment to breathe the Australian air, he headed straight to the Star Casino within an hour of checking into his hotel room. The narrative was brought to light by the diligent officers of the New South Wales Police.

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As the night clock hovered around 11:30 p.m., the man approached the casino cage to request a color change. However, when his chips raised suspicion amongst the cashiers, the man took off in a huff, leaving $10,000 worth of chips sitting on the counter.

Revelations from security footage depicted a black-clad man, with white sneakers, deftly evading attempted apprehension by a casino security guard. In a whirlwind turn of events, merely 10 minutes later, the man had checked out from his accommodation—the Oaks Sydney Goldsbrough Suites— and was on his way to the airport, finally snagging a flight out at around 8 a.m.

Further investigations by law enforcement brought a more worrisome detail to light. An additional $24,000 in sham chips had been set loose in the casino. This led the police to surmise that the suspect may have been preparing for a more grand scale deception—did the alarm not go off so soon.

While the manufacturing location of the chips remains a mystery, the police postulate that the suspect smuggled out some legitimate ones back to China after a prior brief visit in January. His earlier escapade had seen him spend less than a day in Australia before jetting back to China. Investigators, however, chose to withhold the modus operandi of the casino staff that led to the identification of the counterfeit chips.

Despite advancements in chip security – like embedding RFID technology and utilizing ultraviolet stamping – counterfeit chips are on the rise with an increase in availability of realistic forgeries in the online black market.

Commenting on the quality of the counterfeits, Detective Superintendent Peter Faux, the head of the NSW Organized Crime Squad, shared his commendation for the Star Casino. “Star reported the discovery within minutes of being conscious of them and [has] been hugely supportive to our investigation,” he told the Telegraph. According to Faux, the man committed the act under his real name, travelling on a legitimate passport and had reserved a hotel room for three days from March 29. However, he cut his stay short and left Australia on March 30.

In the aftermath of this incident, the NSW police shas shared information with Interpol and Chinese authorities, as part of their ongoing investigation.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.