Roulette scams are nothing new- it seems that some players are constantly trying to syphon money off casinos playing roulette- William Nelson Darnborough is a good example with his massive roulette wins in Monaco from 1904 to 1911. Some do it legitimately and some tread the fine grey line between legal and illegal play, using roulette wheel clockers for instance. And some just commit fraud, plain and simple either on a big scale or on a smaller level like this insider roulette scam.
One of the latest big roulette frauds came to light at the end of 2015 in Monaco where 3 fraudsters took the spiritual home of roulette- the Casino Monte Carlo, to the cleaners over the course of 15 month to the tune of €3.66 million euros. I shouldn´t feel too bad for the casino though. They have plenty of other punters who play straight. Philip Green likes a game of roulette, and he lives in Monaco!
The gang of three- Sajid Rashid, Qamar Hussain and Zahidul Haque Khan, all UK passport holders, have since been sent to jail in the tiny principality, but they have only been ordered to pay back less than a quarter of their winnings (€850k). Even the locals were impressed with the scam, apparently. The head of the government service in charge of casinos, Mr. Christian Ollier said: “These gentlemen were very good.”
Even so, they all have to serve up to 30 months behind bars for their parts in the scam. A Monte Carlo court sentenced Sajid Rashid and Qamar Hussain to 30 months and Zahidul Haque Khan went down with a 10-month sentence.
The three men managed to defraud the Grand Casino of Monte Carlo for more than a year from April 2014 to June 2015 by using fake tokens, (worth around €10) that looked just like Monte Carlo casino's €1,000 chips.
The ringleader was Sajid Rashid, 49, born in Pakistan who has previously played using nearly 30 different aliases. He is already banned from many casinos in London and already has a gambling-related conviction in the UK.
Their scam was unearthed when they were recorded on CCTV (The Eye in the Sky) arriving at a roulette table with chips concealed in their pockets that they had bought for €10 each outside the casino. The scam was to mix the chips with the €1000 chips handed out by the casino. Simple eh? Well, they say the simplest scams are the best.
The Casino weakness that they honed in on was that tokens issued have no face value. Even more embarrassingly for the casino was that the 3 men had been comped a suite during their scam.
His wing man was 26-year-old Qamar Hussain. Both men got 30 months in Monaco’s tiny jail. At least they´ll have a view over the Med.
The other member of the gang was Zahidul Haque Khan who has denied any wrongdoing.
This is not the first time that the Casino de Monaco Carlo has has been hit by a big money scam. Many of the perpetrator have subsequently gone down in history, such as The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo.