The Judiciary Police (PJ), in collaboration with the Macau Customs Service and the Zhuhai Public Security Bureau, have busted a people-smuggling gang which helped mainlanders enter and leave Macau illegally on speedboats, PJ spokesman Lai Man Vai said during a special press conference on Wednesday.
In a joint operation on Tuesday, the two local law enforcement agencies caught three key members of the gang and six illegal immigrants on the waterfront near the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal in Zape, while the Zhuhai Public Security Bureau arrested two members of the gang there.
All the arrested suspects and illegal immigrants are mainlanders.
Lai identified the three key members arrested in Macau as a 22-year-old surnamed Mo, a 24-year-old surnamed Huang, and a 27-year-old surnamed Qin. The six illegal immigrants, aged between 19 and 46, comprise two men and four women. Among the six illegal immigrants, two – a male and a female – were attempting to illegally enter Macau, while the other four – a male and three females – were attempting to illegally leave the city, according to Lai.
Five of the six illegal immigrants have been barred by the local authorities from entering the city due to offences such as theft, overstaying and prostitution, while the other – a male – has been barred by the mainland authorities from leaving the mainland, according to Lai.
Exchange of intelligence
Based on their exchange of intelligence with the Zhuhai police, the Judiciary Police got wind of a people-smuggling gang helping mainlanders enter and leave Macau illegally on speedboats, according to Lai.
In the early hours of Tuesday, PJ officers discovered that a member of the gang – Huang – met a man and three women (four of the six caught illegal immigrants) near a casino in Rua do Terminal Marítimo in Zape, after which they hung around the area until 3 a.m. when Huang led the four people to the waterfront near the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal via the nearby walking trail alongside the reservoir, according to Lai.
Soon after, PJ officers saw that a speedboat piloted by a man – Mo – with another member of the gang (Qin) and two other people (a man and a woman who are the other two caught illegal immigrants) on board was approaching the waterfront, according to Lai, who said that the two illegal immigrants on board then disembarked from the speedboat and came ashore assisted by Qin.
According to Lai, the four illegal immigrants led by Huang then got onto the speedboat before it sped away.
It was then that the Judiciary Police and the Customs Service took action. PJ officers caught Huang and the two illegal immigrants who were ashore, while customs officers were chasing the speedboat, Lai said.
The speedboat failed to leave Macau’s coastal waters and Mo later returned to Macau’s waterfront where he, Qin and the four illegal immigrants went ashore in an attempt to avoid being arrested by the customs officers, according to Lai.
PJ officers later arrested them in the area where the speedboat was seized.
At around the same time, the Zhuhai police arrested two members of the gang there, Lai said.
According to Lai, the gang, which had been operating for a month, charged each illegal immigrant between 10,000 and 20,000 yuan.
According to the Macau Post Daily, the nine mainlanders have been transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) for further questioning.