Phua disabitkan bersalah di Malaysia...
Sumber polis memaklumkan kepada Malaysiakini bahawa 'raja judi' Paul Phua Wei Seng ditahan di Miri, Sarawak pada 2004 semasa perlawanan Piala Euro di Miri.
Seorang sumber yang berada di tempat kejadian ketika Phua didakwa dan disabitkan kesalahan terlibat dalam perjudian haram memberitahu bahawa dia didenda.
Selepas membayarnya, Phua dikatakan meninggalkan negara ini dan kemudian dilarang memasuki Malaysia ketika Piala Dunia 2008
Menurut sumber, Phua, 50, juga dikenali sebagai 'Sabah kia' (budak Sabah) walaupun dia sebenarnya berasal daripada Miri, seperti maklumat dalam kad pengenalannya.
Pua menjadi tumpuan berita selepas ditahan dan didakwa oleh Biro Siasatan Persekutuan (FBI) di Amerika Syarikat atas tuduhan terlibat dengan operasi judi haram besar-besaran di Caesar's Palace, sebuah hotel lima bintang di Last Vegas pada Julai lepas.
Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi kemudian mengeluarkan yang berkata tidak mempunyai hubungan dengan kongsi gelap 14K dan membantu Malaysia dalam urusan keselamatan negara.
Kumpulan yang berpangkalan di Hong Kong itu terlibat dengan jaringan jenayah antarabangsa dan dikatakan samseng kedua terbesar di dunia dengan keanggotaan lebih 25,000 orang.
Menurut laporan polis pada 2004 yang dilihat Malaysiakini, serbuan dilakukan pada serang bookie bola sepak di Jalan Kelab Golf, Miri oleh pasukan polis pada 3.15 pagi, pada 4 Julai tahun sama.
Dalam serbuan itu seramai 22 lelaki ditahan ketika menjalankan perjudian haram untuk pertandingan akhir Euro 2004 yang disiarkan langsung antara Portugal dan Greece, menurut laporan itu lagi.
Phua sekarang dibebaskan dengan jaminan di Nevada, AS bersama anaknya Darren.
Dilaporkan bahawa mereka berdua dibebaskan dengan syarat memakai gelang tangan GPS, yang membolehkan kedudukannya dikesan.- mk
Phua a convicted criminal in Malaysia...
Reliable sources from the police informed Malaysiakini that world class high-roller Paul Phua Wei Seng was arrested in Miri in 2004, during the period the Euro Cup football matches were being played.
One of the sources claimed that he was present when Phua was charged and convicted for illegal gambling. He was slapped with a fine.
After paying the fine, Phua left the country. The convicted criminal was even barred from re-entering the country during the World Cup in 2008.
According to the source, Phua, 50, is also known as “Sabah kia” (Sahah kid) despite that he is born in Miri, as confirmed by his MyKad details.
Phua made headlines after he was arrested and charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in United States for a massive illegal online gambling operation in Caesar's Palace, a five-star hotel in Las Vegas in July last year.
It was revealed that Zahid later wrote a letter to the FBI to clear Phua of any links with the 14K triad and added that Phua assisted Malaysia in matters of national security.
The 14K is a Hong Kong-based international crime syndicate active in among others, drug running, illegal gambling, human trafficking, prostitution and money laundering. It said to be second largest triad group in the world with around 25,000 members.
According to 2004 police records sighted by Malaysiakini, “a raid was made on football bookies at a condominium” at Jalan Kelab Golf, Miri, by a police team conducted at 3.15am on July 4, 2004.
“In that raid, 22 Chinese men were arrested ... while running an illegal bet on the finals of the football match of Euro 2004, which was being telecast live, between Portugal and Greece in Portugal.
"The said premise was turned into an Internet online betting centre with an average bet of RM2 million for this match. Evidence confiscated in front of voter Phua Wei Seng ... who was present with the other workers who were inside," the record states.
The source said Phua was then charged and convicted and the case was closed as is normally done when “illegal betting syndicates are busted”.
Malaysiakini is in the process of getting the court records on the case, but these records are manually kept in Miri.
A court staff, when contacted, said only parties with interest in the case can obtain the records, in line with its policy of protecting privacy.
First bookie to pay fine in full
According to the police source, Phua paid the hefty fine in full and then fled to Vietnam to flee from those who had placed huge bets with him when the operation was busted.
"The fact that he paid the fine in full then was a first for a bookie caught, for bookies have never paid their fines in full.
"In 2008, the police were told not to allow Phua back into the country for fear that he would start a betting scheme on the World Cup," said the source.
However, due to lax communications between the police in Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak, Phua did return to the country in 2008.
He landed in Kuala Lumpur but was nevertheless stopped by the Sarawak immigration, after which he flew out of the country.
The source said he believed Phua, whom he described as the "biggest bookie in Asia", subsequently went to Europe.
Phua was described as a "very brainy person, not the typical bookie" and one who is much sought after worldwide for his expertise in opening casinos.
Phua is also said to have “very good connections with big-time Umno politicians”.
'How can he be with national security?'
The source also confirmed that Phua is indeed part of the notorious 14K triad, but operates in Hong Kong where the triad is based, and not in Malaysia.
"We do not know how the home minister can say he is with us on national security," said the source.
Zahid, who has been severely criticised for defending Phua, said he wrote the letter upon the request of Phua’s lawyers in US. However, his letter was rejected in court after an objection from prosecutors for late submission of evidence.
Phua’s lawyer in Malaysia, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, said that the minister’s letter was to correct a “big mistake” made by the Malaysian police.
The letter was used as defence evidence to invalidate earlier information furnished by Malaysian police to the FBI, linking Phua with the 14K triad.
However, the police defended their earlier reports and, contrary to the claim made by Zahid, said Phua did not assist them in national security matters.
Nevertheless, Zahid insisted that Phua did assist on national security matters but refused to divulge into details on this, saying that the matter was sealed in secrecy under the Official Secrets Act.
Phua is now currently out on bail in the US state of Nevada, together with his son Darren Phua. It was reported that Phua and son were released under the condition of wearing GPS ankle bracelets while residing at the home of a Las Vegas doctor.
Court transcripts show that in addition to US$2.5 million cash, the elder Phua has put up his US$48 million Gulfstream jet as collateral.
Last week, the Phuas had a status hearing in court, in which the judge said she would issue a decision on the motions to suppress the evidence in a few days, probably early next week, the court document shows.- mk
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