China’s gambling district Macau has recently seen an increase in crime rates. Macau is the only area of China that people can legally gamble. Due to this fact, the majority of casino related crimes in China occur within this area, and make up a significant portion of this general increase in crime rates Macau is currently experiencing.
Although investigations have shown that casino related money-laundering has been reduced by over 6% in just over a year, law enforcements have discovered the rise of other, related crimes. These crimes have caused considerable harm and damage to the area, making this lucrative area of China, enjoyed by many, increasingly more unsafe.
Reports from the first quarter have already shown an astounding 438 crimes that have been connected to gambling in some way, shape or form; increasing from last year by more than 14%.
A large portion of these crimes are due to issues with loan sharking. Loan sharking has risen drastically in recent years, jumping up 27% in 2018. In addition to this, there have been numerous different kidnappings and murders that are thought to be tied to the surrounding casinos.
Recently, a man who was unable to pay of his existing, gambling-related debt, suffered a beating so savage it killed him. The beating was recorded and sent to the man’s family in order to blackmail them to pay off the debt.
Due to this saddening rise in such brutal, casino-related crimes, Macau’s law enforcement is working harder than ever to help stop it. Since this increase, law enforcement officials have already infiltrated and broke down numerous different criminal gangs.
Macau’s Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak has made a statement that the region’s attempts at reducing these types of crimes is already making visible changes. Wong Sio Chak has backed this statement up with the evidence of 71 arrests in February alone. These arrests had been involved in crimes relating to both loan sharking and kidnapping.
In response to this worrisome rise in crimes, The Macao Judiciary Police have assembled together a new operations unit focused on reducing crime around this region of China. It has been discovered that this new unit have been focusing a lot of its attention on reducing these casino/gambling-related crimes.
In addition to this new division developed by The Macao Judiciary Police, it has also been recognised that casinos are strengthening their security teams in the fight against this rise in crime.