MBS, RWS file more lawsuits to collect debts

SINGAPORE - Up to 20 more debt collection lawsuits have been brought in recent months by Marina Bay Sands (MBS) against mostly Malaysian gamblers, while three new cases totalling $5.9 million in claims were filed by Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) this past week.

To date, around 40 cases have been filed by Drew & Napier LLC, and another 30 by Harry Elias Partnership LLP, all on behalf of MBS. A total of eight debt collection lawsuits have been filed by Straits Law Practice LLC on behalf of RWS since March.

Between 15 and 20 new cases were filed in the High Court by MBS since late April, almost all of which were against gamblers from Malaysia who had failed to respond to the casino's letters of demand. MBS is suing each of them for sums ranging from $50,000 to $100,000.

Typically, court cases seeking damages of $250,000 or less are filed in the Subordinate Courts. Although the amount of damages sought in the new cases are below that level, they were filed in the High Court because judgments obtained from that court are enforceable in courts in Malaysia.

MBS, represented by Kelvin Tan, Natasha Sulaiman and Lin Yuankai of Drew & Napier, have also obtained two more default judgments: one for $1.86 million plus interest and costs against Malaysian Chock Kok Sui; and another for $247,500 plus interest and costs against Heng Sia Wan, also a Malaysian. Earlier, it had obtained a $2 million judgment against Singapore-based Japanese businessman Takami Shinichi.

Indonesian Husni Muchtar, who owed $920,521 to MBS, was ordered last month by the High Court to provide a banker's guarantee by June 18 or face summary judgment on his gambling debt.

MBS, which is also represented by Toh Wei Yi and S Suressh of Harry Elias Partnership LLP, sought summary judgment on grounds that Mr Muchtar has no real or valid defence against its claim.

Both parties have since appealed the High Court order.

Meanwhile, one of RWS's latest cases involves Singaporean Lee Chong Hock, who is being sued in the Subordinate Courts for defaulting on a $194,861 gambling debt.

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