Over two dozen individuals were sent to prison in the latest round of judicial action in Macau.
Macau.- An effective crackdown on gaming-related crimes during the beginning of 2018 was the starting point for the Macanese authorities. According to Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak, law enforcement has been specifically targeting illicit money exchange throughout the year. This past February, authorities decided to set a crackdown on illegal gaming activities.
Those that would try to take advantage of gamblers had been warned and are now going to pay the price, according to the Chinese daily newspaper, Macau Daily News.
These sentences date back to a massive scheme from 2016. The scheme was reportedly led by a 46-year-old man from Hong Kong. He received the harshest sentence and will spend the next sixteen years in prison. Overall, he was found guilty of 32 counts of illegal activity, including loan-sharking and organized crime, among others.
Furthermore, and joining him with sentences ranging from eight to ten years are six other members of the gang.
So far, 27 people have appeared before a judge, but 2 were able to walk away. These 27 make up a total of 295 cases of loan-sharking reportedly taken place in Macau during this year. This represents a 16.1% increase compared to the same period last year. According to a report dated from September, crime had dropped in the city as a result of an increased intervention.