Macau casino operator, Alvin Chau (周焯華), 48, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for running illegal cross-border gambling operations during a trial hearing yesterday. The former CEO of Suncity Group was charged with 162 counts, including founding and directing a criminal group. Not taking into account any sentence commutation, he will be 66 years old by the time he is released from prison.
According to Macau’s laws, inmates are unable to apply holidays to their sentence time and must serve in its entirety. They can apply for early release after serving two-thirds of their sentence as long as the application is approved by the court. Based on Alvin’s sentence, he will be eligible to apply after 12 years.
Life in Macau Prison
Macau Prison is Macau’s only prison. After many expansions, it now houses up to 1300 inmates. Former Secretary of Transport and Public Works of Macau, Ao Man Long (歐文龍), and infamous gangster Wan Kuok Koi (尹國駒) both served their sentences there.
Based on Macau Judicial Police’s short video on life in Macau Prison, inmates undergo a security inspection including a body cavity search within their first 72 hours. They are required to relinquish all personal belongings for safekeeping by the prison. They will live in the newcomer area for one to two days in order to acclimatize. Afterwards, a doctor will conduct a physical exam and the inmates will be assigned to different cells depending on their sentence time, severity of offence, and mental state. Most cells house four to five people; if the inmate is famous then they may be assigned a solitary cell.
Although inmates lose their freedom, they are still able to enjoy the same rights and services such as voting and education. They are taken out to an open-air exercise area twice per day, once in the morning and again in the afternoon. The prison does not mandate inmates to work, but they may perform optional jobs in carpentry, printing, clothing manufacturing, laundry, or baking bread. Their products will not be used for commercial purposes, and will only be used within the prison or by other government entities.
Every inmate is allowed visitation once per week, and can only see two people at most for an hour. The visitation list must be submitted before the inmate arrives to the prison. They are also allowed to make phone calls but will need to apply for approval. If approved, the call must be monitored by guards and the phone numbers will be recorded.
This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.