Macau: 46 arrested for providing illegal loans to gamblers in casinos

Police carried out a cross-border operation with mainland China.
Police carried out a cross-border operation with mainland China.

Officers in Macau have reported that 46 people were arrested in connection with a loan-sharking and debt collection gang that operated in VIP casino rooms.

Macau.- Macau police has reported that 46 people, including two residents, have been arrested in a cross-border operation that dismantled a gang that allegedly provided Macau gamblers with loans totalling HK$4.2m ($539,000). The suspected gang deposited funds related to its activities in 10 accounts at two unnamed VIP rooms in Macau.

Local media reports said the suspected loan sharking activity was discovered after another case in Macau early last year. Officers said the suspects withdrew up to 10 per cent of the loan principal and took 20 per cent of any bonuses the borrowers received. They are said to have made illegal profits of around HK$1m.

Chan Ka Hou, the chief investigator of the Judicial Police’s Gambling Crimes Division, told TDM: “They would videotape the process and send videos to the victim’s family and friends to force and coerce them to pay the debt. 

“They would even force the victims to drink dirty water or act in a way to incite them to panic and record videos, to coerce the debtors to pay the debt.”

Earlier this month, police in Macau arrested a man and a woman on charges of stealing casino chips worth MOP355,000 (US$44,369). The police said they received a report from the monitoring staff at the Cotai Casino that multiple thefts had occurred in the VIP lounge.

Authorities checked surveillance video and found that a man and a woman were stealing chips in the casino, targeting gamblers with large amounts of chips. 

Last September, police in Macau also arrested an employee of a VIP casino venue on suspicion of stealing nearly MOP95.5m (US$11.9m) from more than 70 customers.

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