Macau police said they would and they did. In order to curb illegal loans, which often lead to false kidnapping and imprisonment as criminals use all the means necessary to be paid, law enforcement officials in the gambling city have said that they would intensify efforts to clean up the streets. According to information just released by Macau’s Security Secretary, Wong Sio Chak, these efforts were effective and criminal activity fell in the second quarter of the year.
Wong says illegal detention has increased further than in previous years, with a 17.4% year-over-year increase in the first six months of the year reaching 169 cases. Of this amount, 166 were related to loan sharks, an overall increase of 23% over last year. However, when it was downed quarter-over-quarter, the second quarter was only 11.8% higher than a year ago, down substantially from 37.3% in the first quarter.
The first half of the year recorded 295 cases of gambling-related lending activity, up 16.1% from the same period last year. However, the dissecting of the quarterly figures revealed that the first quarter of 2019 saw a 25.5% year-over-year increase, while the second quarter saw only a 9.9% increase over the second quarter of 2018.
Wong attributes this decline to the intensified efforts of local law enforcement, explaining, “Police forces have consistently patrolled and combated these two types of gambling-related crimes, and we have achieved effective results.” Wong said last May that forces would take additional measures to increase security and patrols across the city.
Since the beginning of June, police have conducted more “large-scale” patrols in and around casinos. The police are also in almost constant contact with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Macau’s gaming regulator, and has even presented a list of suggested names that should be blacklisted for participation alleged illegal activities.
Wong adds about the city’s potential for crime, “The state of security of Macau may see more uncertainty as several celebrations and large-scale events approach in the second half of this year, with more visitors who come here. In response, police forces will maintain a high alert for casino security issues and strengthen our collaborations with the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Office and the gaming industry to prevent and combat gambling Crimes.
Among these celebrations is the 20th anniversary of December in honour of macau’s transfer from Portugal to China.