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$600.000 found in safety deposit box at The Star casino in Sydney; Singapore national sentenced to at least 9 months in prison

Police collected a little over $600.000 from a saftey deposit box in The Star casino in Sydney. The casino staff contacted the police because of the big gambling and significant cash withdrawals of Singaporean San Wei Koh. Suspicion was aroused when Koh told the story to the police.

A week after arriving in Australia, Koh stored the bigger part of $300.000 in a safety deposit box at The Star, adding over $700.000 in cash the next day. According to Koh, the $700.000 belonged to his aunt in Newcastle; they were the profits of her brothel business and she had asked him to collect it for her ex, Koh’s uncle, who lives in China.

When Koh got to her house in Newcastle, he found she wasn’t home, but was able to enter via the backdoor, found a suitcase in her bedroom and took it without checking what was inside.

When Koh finally opened the suitcase, he found $700.000, transferred $100.000 to his uncle in China and deposited the rest in the safety box. He had no explanation for the $300.000, said Judge Graeme Henson. “It is implicit in the plea that he knew the cash money was the proceeds of criminal activity.”

After a little research, the police confirmed the uncle in China Koh spoke of didn’t exist, and the socalled aunt denied both being related to Koh and being the source of the $700.000.

Koh asked for a suspended sentence, but wasn’t granted so by Judge Henson. “A suspended sentence would provide no deterrence to those involved in organised crime conducted on a transnational basis such as exhibited in these proceedings,” the Judge said. Koh is sentenced to at least nine months in a NSW jail, which is a reduced sentence because of Koh’s cooperation and assistance to the police.

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