The police estimated that illegal loaning of at least HKD 108 million was involved in total over a period of three years. This then resulted in a profit of HKD 32 million.
The group’s members were said to be inhabitants of Macau, Hong Kong, Thailand and mainland China. The boss of the group was also detained.
Officers said that police suspected that this loan-sharking syndicate was linked to an organised crime gang from China.
The group had very strict division of their assigned tasks which included identification of gamblers who were potential borrowers, issuing of credit and also accounting. It is even said to have offices delegated to accounting and training, and also to ‘discipline’ members who fail to comply to the rules of the organisation.
This group is thought to have been in operation from 2016 and police began investigations on this group in November 2016, after receiving intelligence.
Gaming-related cases of loan-sharking increased by 29.4% to 554 in calendar year 2018. A total of 308 cases of gaming-related suspected unlawful detention incidents were recorded which were mostly associated in Macau, in that year.
This decline is being attributed to the increased efforts to curb these loan-sharking activities. Police also announced 113 arrests in June of people allegedly involved in long-time loan-sharking operation targeted at people gambling in the casinos.
At that time, according to police officers, this action was the largest number of arrests in the Macau Special Administrative Region for a single case since 1999.