Chinese Name: 铂莱国际娱乐
Location: Ochheuteal Beach, Sangkat Buon, Sihanoukville, Preah Sihanouk Province, Cambodia.
Bolai Casino (铂莱国际娱乐) goes by the name ‘Brilliancy’ in English. Located in the Bolai International Hotel (铂莱国际酒店) in the Ochheuteal Beach area of Sihanoukville, until the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Bolai was a popular casino and nightclub.
In June 2022, Thai media reported that Thailand’s Police Cyber Taskforce had teamed up with Cambodian police to raid two ‘call centres’ in Sihanoukville, resulting in the arrest of 21 suspects. The raids targeted romance scams, also known as ‘pig butchering’, where operators used Tinder and Line to ensnare victims before duping them to invest in phony financial products. Thai police travelled to Cambodia with arrest warrants for Thai nationals, and the 21 suspects were arrested on charges including fraud by impersonating others, being members of a secret and unlawful society, being members of a criminal association, involvement in a transnational criminal organisation, and money laundering. A report by The Nation did not name the locations but included photos of Bolai Casino. The Bangkok Post also reported on the raid, but mis-named the location as ‘Po Lai’, and reported that the suspects were not found during the raid on Bolai.
Recruitment posts can be found on Facebook for Bolai that share common features with those recruiting people to work in online scam and gambling operations. For example, the post below recruiting for ‘Bolai Group’ is seeking customer service operators to work 11 hours a day with one day off per month, board and meals provided, salary of US$1,400 to US$1,600 plus commission. The only requirements are that candidates must be 18–35, able to speak English and Chinese, and have basic computer skills.
A post from a Cambodia-based Chinese language online message board from July 2019 advertises office space at the Bolai International Hotel for rent. It states that four telecommunications companies have direct dedicated lines, 4G coverage, and network stability. It describes the venue as safe and licensed, with 24-hour military police guard, and that the company provides support with office equipment, apartments, canteens, and first-class property management. Photos from the advert depict a familiar call-centre set up.
In April 2022, Bolai received a new casino license.
Bolai Casino has links to K99 Group, a Cambodian gambling junket operator owned by Rithy Raksmei, a well-connected Cambodian businessman. K99 runs gaming junkets at numerous casinos, several of which are linked to companies implicated in online scam operations (see profile on Nanhai here and White Sand here). It also has developments of its own that are linked to online scam operations and rights abuses (see Triumph City profile here). K99 Group also runs junkets through Bolai Casino.
Bolai Casino is owned by Brilliancy Sihanoukville Investment & Development Co., Ltd. According to Cambodia’s business registry, as of October 2022, the chairman is Chen Youfu, flanked by four more directors: Lin Jie, Luo Tao, Wang Ting, and Zheng Qingfang. All are from China. Wang Ting appears on the casino license.
Online articles indicate that Bolai Casino is linked to New MGM Casino. A page on the website of the contractor that built the Bolai International Hotel states that the developer is New MGM Group (新美高梅集团). An advert posted on local Chinese language website 58cam describes the project as the ‘second phase’ of New MGM. New MGM has been mentioned in several reports on online scam trafficking, including reports from 2022 detailing how several Taiwanese were duped into jobs in Cambodia at New MGM.
Links to Other Compounds, Companies, and Individuals
Bolai Casino has a relationship with K99 Group, which runs gambling junkets through the Bolai Casino. K99 Group has relationships with other casinos implicated in online scams and illegal detention and owns the Triumph City compound, which has been implicated in online scams and detention (see profile here).
11 July: ‘Dozens of Thais arrested in Call-Centre Raids in Cambodia.’ Bangkok Post. Link.
Eighty-nine Thais arrested in Cambodia for involvement in scam call-centres. Four raids in June to July included raid on Bolai International Casino (called ‘Po Lai’ in the article), but it was reported suspects could not be found.
24 June: Mech, Dara and Jintamas Saksornchai. ‘Sihanoukville Crime: 5 Arrested for Dealing Guns, 21 Thais Removed from Scams.’ Voice of Democracy. Link.
Thai police said 21 Thais were removed from two Sihanoukville scam compounds identified as Bolai casino and Jing Cheng hotel.
22 June: ‘21 Nabbed after Allegedly Romancing Victims and Defrauding Them of Millions.’ The Nation. Link.
Romance scammers tricked victims in Thailand into investing via two applications, causing several million baht in losses. Thai police work with Cambodian counterparts to raid two locations, including Bolai Casino, and arrest 21 suspects.