To Catch a Thief

Three men described as professional gamblers have been sentenced to up to 30 months in prison for cheating at roulette at the famed Casino de Monte Carlo. The men must also repay €850,000 of the €3.66 million they stole over the course of a year.

Scam involved chip switch

Three professional gamblers who won some €4 million (US$4.4 million) at the world-famous Casino de Monte Carlo have learned that crime doesn’t pay—and it can cost you. According to the U.K. Telegraph, the card cheats have been ordered to serve from 10 months to 30 months in prison and pay back €850,000 (US$933,000) of the €3.66 million they won over the course of a year.

The men’s strategy was fairly simple: they exchanged €10 tokens for ones worth €1,000. The team was led by Sajid Rashid, who has been banned for life from London casinos, has gambled under 28 false names around the world and has served 14 months for cheating in British casinos, according to Agence France Presse. Rashid was joined in the scheme by Qamar Hussain and Zahidul Haque Khan. Only Khan denied involvement in the switch, and will serve just 10 months for his crimes.

The casino is owned in part by the Monegasque royal family under the aegis of the Société des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Étrangers à Monaco, also known as SBM. It is also now part-owned by Macau gaming operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd., GGRAsia reported. Last July, Galaxy bought a 5 percent stake in the casino for €40 million (US$4.4 million). In August, Galaxy President Michael Mecca became a director of SBM.