The three professional gamblers from UK used a type of fraud featured in James Bond movies to walk away with almost £3 million – about €4 million. The scam involved switching €10 tokens for €1,000 chips, but they were eventually caught.
The three Britons received sentences of up to 30 months in prison. The court from the glitzy French Riviera principality ordered them to pay back only €860,000 of the total amount of money they pocketed for the length of a year.
All the casinos and gambling venues in Monaco are owned by SBM, and the head of the service in charge of these venues (Christian Ollier) admitted that the three gentlemen pocketing money using a type of fraud were actually very good. This “society” is rather a public company in which the principality has much interest.
The ringleader of the group is a 49-year-old Pakistan-born man, Sajid Rashid. He has received a ban for life in the London casinos a while ago, and has allegedly gambled under twenty eight false aliases around the globe, serving 1 year for cheating and performing scams in UK casinos, according to British press. Qamar Hussain was his main partner in the Monte Carlo scam. Both conmen were handed two years and a half in Monaco’s little prison overlooking the sea which holds only twenty cells.
Zahidul Haque, a 45-year-old Bangladesh-born man, is the only one who has denied being involved in the scam. ”I just went to grab something to eat and smoke a cigarette”, he declared when confronted with the CCTV footage in which he was slipping tens of tokens into his pocket.
The three men gambled between April 2014 and June 2015, winning €3.66 million at the roulette. Their gambling con was so successful that the Grand Casino from Monte Carlo started offering them food on the house when they entered the premises, plus accomodation. The crafty gamblers have only admitted to some charges, and explained the Monaco court that they have been ’addicted’ to gambling from an early age.
The Monte Carlo casino has gone through numerous scams since it opened its doors almost 200 years ago, mostly by gamblers and conmen who found ways to beat the system. One of the famous cheaters in history is Charles Wells, the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo.