Macau is the only place in China where gambling activities are entirely legal, and as such, it has become a highly sought-after destination. As of lately, along with its popularity, the city has seen a significant increase in crime rates, particularly when it comes to loan sharking. Furthermore, a number of kidnappings as well as murders have been reported in relation to casinos, pressuring law enforcement agencies to take further actions to find a solution to the problem at hand.
Law Enforcement Reports
Even though it’s been uncovered by law enforcement that money-laundering in connection to casinos was reduced more than 6% over last 12 months, other illegal activities have taken a lead, causing some major problems along the way.
As already noted, loan-sharking not only does continue to be an issue but has risen significantly. In fact, numbers have shown that this particular crime form has jumped 37% in comparison to the last year while 2018 also had a 27% increase compared to 2017.
The report for the first quarter has revealed 438 crimes in connection to gambling which makes it 14.1% more than the last year. In addition, just recently, after suffering brutal beatings, a man in his 40s ended up dead, and all that due to the inability to pay off his debt. Prior to his death, the victim was taken to a guesthouse and was recorded while being beaten so the video could be sent to the victim’s family to pay off the debt.
These unfortunate outcomes have resulted in additional effort, made by law enforcement, to deal with casino-related criminal activities which are clearly getting out of hand.
Additional Efforts Taken in Fight Against Crime
It appears like recent events have put law enforcement officials on alert and the results are already showing since they’ve managed to disassemble a number of organized crime groups. At the moment, there are other operations underway, and despite the fact that there is still a lot of work ahead of them, according to Macau Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak, these changes are already visible. As a confirmation to his statement, he has added that they’ve witnessed 71 arrests in February. These individuals have been connected to groups, participating in kidnapping and loan-sharking.
Also, in order to deal with these criminal activities more efficiently, The Macao Judiciary Police has incorporated a new operation center. Through this organizational unit, criminal investigators and Macau’s four inspection teams will have better coordination. Lately, it’s been reported that the new center is putting in a lot of time in their attempts to stop the rise of casino-related crime. It has also been revealed that more manpower will be assigned to monitor casino operations in order to thwart illegal activities.
Even though the percentages are devastating, Wong claims that these numbers don’t pose a real threat to citizens. On the other hand, there is so no doubt that the family of the recent murder victim doesn’t quite share his opinion and that the authorities of this ever-expanding gambling heaven should increase their efforts to root out casino-related crime as much as possible.