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Baseball player implicated in Macau gambling

July 22,2016
Seoul police wrapped up their investigation into two baseball players from the Samsung Lions mired in a gambling scandal in Macau and announced Thursday that one of them, An Ji-man, a 33-year-old pitcher, was sent to the prosecution on the request he be indicted on charges of illegal gambling both overseas and domestically.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, however, couldn’t find any witnesses or evidence to prove that the remaining player, Yoon Sung-hwan, was guilty of illegal gambling in Macau.

Police therefore decided to postpone Yoon’s case and sent it to the prosecution for additional investigation.

Seoul police, however, charged An for spending some tens of thousands of dollars in illegal gambling in a junket room in Macau as well through an online gambling site in Korea.

Police acquired testimonies from two people who allegedly witnessed An gambling in a junket room in a casino in Macau.

Junket rooms are game rooms that are rented to privately run tour groups or VIP guests, where some portion of the proceeds are returned to a main casino.

Police also found in An’s computer and smartphone, seized in June, records of his visit to illegal online gambling site in Korea as well as KakaoTalk messages about the illicit betting site.

Police also traced his bank transactions and found that some of his money was sent to the gambling site.

Some hours after the announcement was made by police, Samsung said it plans to terminate its contract with An and requested the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) to authorize this.

“As the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency sent An to the prosecution under the opinion that he be indicted for illegal gambling,” said a spokesperson from Samsung, “we decided to cancel our contract with the player.”

As soon as the KBO authorizes the nullification of the contract, An will no longer receive his annual income.

An is also being investigated by the Daegu District Prosecutors’ Office for his alleged involvement in the operation of an illicit gambling website, a separate case from the Macau gambling case, the prosecution said.

Regarding the case of Yoon, police found no witnesses who saw him gambling in the junket room.

Police said they will continue to look out for witnesses and a man surnamed Park, 32, who is accused of being the primary organizer and operator of the junket room.

BY SHIN SOO-YEON [shin.sooyeon@joongang.co.kr]


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