More than 110 people were held for questioning by Macau police during a four-day “anti-crime” operation in and around the city’s Cotai casinos. The enforcement initiative started on Thursday, and according to the authorities focused particularly on people allegedly offering illicit money exchange services.
The operation was jointly carried out by the Judiciary Police and the Public Security Police, according to local media reports. Most of the people detained by the police during the action were identified as being from mainlander China.
Prior to the special operation, a video of an apparent fight close to the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel – involving more than 10 men – was widely shared last week on social media. The incident, which was later confirmed by the Judiciary Police in a press briefing, was believed to involve disputes over “money exchange” issues. But the police said no one had so far lodged a criminal complaint in relation to the fight.
According to local media, the city’s police have since January conducted several operations aimed at cracking down on illicit changing of money. By February 1, the Judiciary Police had recorded a total of five cases of suspected crimes related to such alleged activity at casino hotels in the city. For full-year 2017, the police recorded a total of 18 such cases.
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"The MSAR [Macau Special Administrative Region] Government is always maintaining its policy not to have imported labour to work as dealers. This position has not changed"
Lionel Leong Vai Tac
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance