On 21 August this year, 4 Turkish nationals – Suleyman Arik, 31, Mehmet Mersin, 52, Firat Teymur, 25, and Asiye Cakmak, 24 – arrived in Singapore and checked into a hotel in Jalan Besar.

Their ambitious plan was to cheat at the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) casino, make a killing and then return back to their country richer.

Arik and Mersin, the masterminds behind the operation, were to give Cakmak some money to gamble in the casino. Cakmak would also distract the dealer at the game table.

Arik and Mersin would then instruct Teymur to stand nearby and to move directly behind them on their cue. This was so that Teymur would block the view of other patrons and prevent them from seeing Arik and Mersin exchange cards under the table.

However, the casino’s surveillance team noticed their sinister ploy during a routine check of CCTV cameras, which captured Cakmak having a conversation with the dealer, unaware that Arik and Mersin were swapping cards under the table.

All four pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to cheat at the Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) casino. They were sentenced to jail terms of 3 to 6 months each.

It was Deputy Public Prosecutor Francis Zhang who sought a jail term of 6 months each for Arik and Mersin and 3 months each for Teymur and Cakmak. He noted that the latter two did not come up with the plan or carry out the actual card swapping.

In their defence, Mersin’s lawyer Nicholas Tang said his client was “genuinely remorseful” and cooperated fully with the authorities. Tang added that Mersin was “not part of a criminal syndicate” and the amount cheated was quite “low”. Arik, Cakmak and Teymur, who went without a lawyer, said that they were remorseful and very sorry for what they had done.

They could have been jailed up to 7 years and fined up to S$150,000.

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