Macau police bust an alleged casino loan-sharking ring

Macau’s police have busted a loan-shark syndicate that allegedly loaned over HKD28.7m US$3.67m) since 2012. According to the authorities, eight mainland China residents have been arrested last night and 11 more suspects including the ringleader remain at-large.

The operation targeted casinos in the Cotai district. Macau’s Judiciary Police confirmed that the suspects are said to be part of a larger gang that illegally had loaned money to at least 60 gamblers since July 2012, charging them excessively high-interest rates. It is believed that the gang would charge 10% interest as well as an agreed amount for each hand played by the victim.

Arrests were made following up a police investigation to a suspected illegal inn. During a search to the property in Taipa last Tuesday, officers found that the residential apartment was actually being used as a base for the allegedly loan-sharking group.

This news comes in the wake of an increase in illegal gambling-related activities in the Cotai strip. Last month, in an official statement, the Director of Macau’s Judiciary Police Chau Wai Kuong said that the “gaming-related crime situation remains serious

“We have witnessed an increase in the number of cases of unlawful detention related to loan-sharking operations”, he added.