The South China Morning Post is reporting that poker pro Paul Phua was previously convicted in 2004 for his alleged involvement in an illegal betting scheme during the European Championship soccer tournament.
Phua and his son, Darren, are currently embroiled in a legal battle over whether FBI agents in the U.S. illegally entered their Las Vegas villa to uncover a similar scheme involving last year’s FIFA World Cup.
The case up to this point has centered on the legalities of an FBI ruse in which agents dressed up as cable repairmen to gain access to Phua’s Las Vegas hotel suite after deliberately cutting off Internet access. A judge was in the process of drafting a ruling on the matter.
Phua and his son have both plead “Not Guilty” and denied any wrongdoing.
The case has also resulted in friction at the highest levels of Malaysian Government.
In support of Phua, Malaysia’s Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi sent out a letter to the FBI insisting that the wealthy poker pro was not a member of a syndicate identified as the "14K Triad" and that Malaysian police were wrong in making such claims back in 2008.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng blasted Zahid for doing so:
“The letter’s language is not conforming to international standards,” and added, “I mean what I want to say is that this shouldn’t be the standard of correspondence coming from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
PKR Communications Director Fahmi Fadzil went as far as to suggest this week that Zahid should step down.
“If Zahid wants to continue remaining silent, he should step down as Home Minister. It’s the honourable thing to do.”
- Ace King, Gambing911.com