Bukit Aman waiting for Seoul counterpart over RM50m cash theft involving Malaysian woman at Jeju casino

A general view of Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur December 1, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
A general view of Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur December 1, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Federal police are waiting for more information from South Korean police who are searching for a Malaysian woman in connection to the disappearance of millions of dollars in cash from a casino on the popular Jeju Island there.

Bukit Aman CID deputy director Deputy Comm Datuk Dev Kumar, when contacted, said police are aware of the case through several news reports that have emerged.

"We have sent a request to Interpol South Korea to provide details of the case and the identity of the woman. We are awaiting their reply and will assist after we are requested by Seoul," he told Malay Mail.

The Wall Steet Journal (WSJ) yesterday reported that Jeju Shinhwa World, one of the largest resorts on Jeju Island, reported to police earlier this month that over 14 billion won (RM52 million), had gone missing from the Landing Casino, where gamblers typically play baccarat and other high-stakes card games.

The report said Hong Kong-based casino operator Landing International Development Ltd had asked police to look for a female employee from Malaysia who had been in charge of the cash but hadn’t returned to work after leaving for vacation at the end of December.

The report, however, did not provide the identity of the Malaysian woman.

Efforts by the casino operator to locate the woman have not been successful.

The WSJ said police believe that two or more people were involved in the operation.

Last week, police conducted a massive manhunt for the woman, after reviewing security camera footage from the casino.

According to police, video recordings at the time of the alleged cash theft had been erased.

It said the largest-denomination bill in South Korea is the 50,000-won note, worth around US$45 each.

If all the money was in 50,000-won bills, the haul would have comprised 291,200 individual notes and weighed nearly 620 pounds, making it difficult to pass undetected through airports or seaports, it added.

The report added that the suspected theft is a jarring reminder of how some industries are still heavily dependent on cash despite a broader switch towards digital and online payments during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Casinos largely rely on cash for their business, protecting their high-security vaults and employing elaborate surveillance systems to deter robberies.

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