Sands Docs Remain Under Seal

Records that could prove an alleged link between Sands China and Macau’s underworld triads will not be made public, according to news reports. A Nevada judge cited sensitive information in the Vickers reports.

Corruption allegations

Documents that may contain information about business dealings between the Las Vegas Sands’ China subsidiary and the Chinese underworld will not be made public, by order of a Nevada District Court judge.

According to the Macau Business Daily, Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez declined to unseal the records because they contain “sensitive commercial and gaming information.”

Despite the seal, some tantalizing excerpts from the so-called Vickers report have been made public. The UK’s Guardian reports that Chinese officials have suspected Sheldon Adelson’s Macau casinos “were used by U.S. intelligence agents to entrap and blackmail Chinese officials.”

“Many of the officials we contacted were of the view that U.S. intelligence agencies are very active in Macau and that they have penetrated and utilized the US casinos to support their operations,” said the report, uncovered by the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Guardian, the Campaign for Accountability and the casino workers’ union Unite Here had all filed separate motions to unseal the records, which concern a wrongful termination case brought by former Sands China CEO Steven Jacobs. They said the reports should be made public because they may detail alleged ties between the Sands organization and purported organized crime figures Cheung Chi Tai and Heung Wah Keung. The documents, compiled by private investigator and former Hong Kong police officer Steve Vickers, are known as the Vickers Reports.

The case goes back to July 2010, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. After he was fired, Jacobs sued Sands China, claiming the termination was payback because he refused to engage in unlawful acts, including promoting prostitution and spying on Chinese politicians in order to bribe them.

Jacobs has alleged that Adelson asked him to use “improper leverage” and conduct “secret investigations of high-ranking Macau officials” in an attempt to learn how they could be compromised. Jacobs claimed the billionaire “burned many bridges” with Chinese officials and as having “alienated outsiders.”

Randall Jones, representing the Sands Corp., told the judge that Jacobs stole the potentially damning documents from the company, reported the Review-Journal.