Criminal cases of unlawful detention and loansharking surged significantly year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, as well as cases of arson, document forgery, and “crimes jeopardizing the territory.”
The Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, revealed the police’s latest crime statistics on Thursday, indicating that the number of criminal cases recorded in the first quarter rose by 2.4 percent compared with the same period last year to stand at to 3,588.
Amongst these, the number of unlawful detention cases nearly doubled from 34 to 67, whilst loansharking increased by 25.9 percent to 68. In addition, the case numbers of arson (10) and grievous bodily harm (4) were respectively 1.5 and one point higher than the numbers recorded a year earlier.
Meanwhile, “crimes against the territory” – including offenses to the authorities and obstructions to justice – surged by 37.9 percent to 280 cases. Of these 190 were of disobedience with 72 for false declaration, respectively denoting a 38.7% and 63.6% increase.
The first quarter also saw a significant year-on-year rise in illegal entry, as the number of illegal migrants from the mainland rose by 47.8 percent to 427. On the other hand, since the Macau authorities tightened the amount of time in which visitors entering with Chinese passports can stay in Macau, the number of overstaying mainlanders plunged by nearly 35 percent from 11,575 to 7,565.
Regarding the growth in overall crime cases, the Secretary stated that Macau’s public security remained in a stable situation, as the serious violent crimes of murder and kidnapping remained at zero occurrences.
Furthermore, he believed the growing numbers of illegal detention and usury cases are “still not enough evidence to say the current adjustment in the gaming industry has affected Macau’s social public security.”
According to the Judiciary Police that oversees and investigates into illegal activities in casinos, cases of gaming-related crimes rose by 22.45 percent in the first quarter to 310 cases year-¬on-year. The annual sums have grown from 667 in 2012 to 1,054 in 2012; however, the annual growth in 2013 was as high as 28.9 percent.
“That means the cases of gaming-related crimes increased at a lower rate during the gaming revenue decline in 2014 than in 2012 and 2013 when the revenue was continuously growing,” argued Wong. The Secretary added that the number of loansharking cases was on a downward trend during the first three months of this year, while cases of unlawful detention rose slightly. (macaunews/macaudailytimes)