Macau: 55 arrested for loan shark and kidnapping

Police dismantled a huge organisation that operated in casinos

Macau.- Police arrested 55 people and dismantled a loan shark organisation. Working alongside the Zhuhai Public Security Bureau, Macau’s Judiciary Police developed a huge operation called “Double Arrow” that included 110 criminal investigators in 22 locations in Macau, and another 138 mainland police deployed to multiple cities in Zhuhai.

According to police spokesman Choi Ian Fai, authorities had been looking into the case for two years.

The suspects, who are local residents as well as mainland Chinese, have reportedly been offering illicit loans to Macau gamblers since 2013, earning around HK$70 million (€8 million).

Among the charges facing the suspects are “deprivation of others’ freedom of movement”. That implies the suspects would hold indebted gamblers hostage until they could make some arrangements to repay the money they had borrowed, usually by contacting friends of relatives on the mainland.

Raids also targeted a number Macau casino VIP rooms, from which they found around HK$400000 (€47,000) in cash from 17 “junket accounts”. There, they arrested 28.

At the same time, mainland police arrested 27 individuals including the alleged mastermind and other key members of the syndicate. Cash total, almost RMB2.41 million (€310 million) from 150 bank accounts, was also frozen.

It is expected the police will soon announce new arrests. The authorities recovered drives with the gang’s financial data recorded.

The 28 suspects arrested in Macau, aged between 27 and 50, have been charged with a range of offences including criminal syndicate, usury for gambling, deprivation of others’ freedom of movement and extortion or acceptance of documents.

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