Five serving police officers were arrested in Macau for alleged involvement in a racket that allowed gamblers from mainland China to enter the city illegally. One retired officer was also arrested, a Judiciary Police spokesperson said on Friday.
The arrests happened on Thursday night, the spokesperson added, quoted by public broadcaster Radio Macau.
The officers – from Macau’s Public Security Police Force – allegedly charged MOP70,000 (US$8,722) for aiding and abetting mainland gamblers enter illegally into Macau. In addition, they would charge these people an extra MOP80,000 for transportation and protection services while in the city, according to a preliminary police investigation.
The ‘users’ of the service would have to pay another MOP70,000 to leave Macau undetected.
The case involves four serving police officers from the Public Security Police Force’s criminal intelligence unit and one from the force’s immigration service.
The Judiciary Police estimated that those suspected of involvement in the scheme made more than MOP1.8 million over a period of four years.
The first media reports on the case – quoting police sources – had said the scheme involved a racket extorting money from Macau junket operators. The Judiciary Police did not confirm these reports, according to Radio Macau. The spokesperson also did not comment on whether there were more suspects involved in the case.
Macau’s Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, has said he was greatly concerned about the case. Mr Wong ordered a full investigation into the matter, according to a statement issued on Friday by the Office of the Secretary for Security.
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”I don’t see this project [Lisboeta Macau] will just go for the existing market clientele. The clientele I’m going for is… family [travellers]. This is a four-star resort and the pricing will be benchmarked against other four-star hotels in Cotai.”
Director of Macau Theme Park and Resort