Fifteen defendants accused of gambling-related crimes were sentenced in a Beijing court on Friday, according to a release from a court in the Chinese capital. Among them was a woman who briefly worked in 2020 as executive director of Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings, a company linked to the casino project on the U.S. Pacific island of Saipan.
Beijing City’s First Intermediate People’s Court says Cui Ramei was sentenced to 8 years and 6 months in prison and fined 200,000 yuan ($27,968) for the crime of “establishing a casino.” The remaining 14 defendants were sentenced to 1 year and 8 months to 7 years and 6 months in prison for crimes such as establishing a casino, “collecting illegal debt” and “organizing illegal border crossers.”
According to corporate filings with the Hong Kong exchange, Cui Lime was executive director of Imperial Pacific International Holdings from June 15, 2020 to June 29, 2020.
The company promoted a casino resort known as the Imperial Palace Saipan. Starting in April 2021, gaming licenses for the property were suspended.
According to reports in several Chinese media outlets, cui ramei is the sibling of a female businesswoman called cui rieje. The latter resigned as chairman and executive director of Imperial Pacific International Holdings effective June 4, 2021.
The company, which has been closed on the Hong Kong exchange since April 1, 2022, is currently facing a hearing regarding finalizing two petitions scheduled for January 2024. According to the company’s Nov. 22 filing.
The Beijing court’s announcement did not mention which countries other than China the defendants involved replaced the player.
The court only noted that the other defendants in the case, led by Cui Ramei and the individual “Ji,” “organized and solicited” Chinese nationals from Beijing and provincial cities for “overseas gambling” during the “2008-2021 period,” as well as committing other crimes, including “illegal entry into residence” and illegal debt collection.
The individual named “Ji” mentioned in Friday’s announcement is “being dealt with in other cases,” a Beijing court statement said.