Casino-related crimes have increased in Macau, and authorities are concerned. Though the number of crimes related to money laundering and funding of terrorist activities has declined the violent crimes like extortion, kidnapping, and murder have increased.
Crimes related to money laundering dropped by over 6 percent in the past twelve months. However, the loan sharks that contribute to the maximum number of casino-related crimes have shot up. Over the past year the number of crimes has increased by 14.1 percent.
The lawmakers have already voiced their concerns over increasing crime rate, most of which can be traced back to powerful loan sharks active in the region.
The law enforcement on Thursday said that there were 438 casino-related crimes reported in the first three months of 2019. Of all the crimes, illegal loans comprised nearly 25 percent as 81 cases related to unlawful loans were registered. The number of illicit loans related to casinos have increased by 37.3 percent.
Recently a casino player was found beaten to death at a guest house in Macau. The victim, aged 40, was confined in a guest house by three loan sharks after he had allegedly failed to pay off his gambling debts. The victim had borrowed HKD50,000 ($6,373) from the lenders but had lost all at the gambling venue – following which he was taken into custody for nearly two days and was beaten to death.
There has also been an increase in kidnappings and high profile murders related to casinos. Macau Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, has said that though the law enforcement agencies are working their level best as they also arrested 71 suspects involved in casino-related kidnappings and murders, there is more to be done.
The number of casino-related crimes has been consistently on the rise in Macau. In 2018 it increased by over 25 percent when compared with the number of crimes in 2017.