Judiciary Police (PJ) Director Sit Chong Meng said on Thursday he was convinced that Macau people don’t want Hong Kong-style social turmoil.
Sit also said that the Judiciary Police – Macau’s criminal investigation department – were paying attention to the situation in Hong Kong and that they were determined to maintain Macau’s stability. He made the remarks in response to journalists’ questions during a Lunar New Year gathering with the media at the PJ headquarters in Zape.
“We will consider all situations and take the necessary measures to maintain Macau’s stability,” Sit said, adding “that’s what the population want; they don’t want social turmoil in Macau, they want stability, peacefulness.” He also said that Macau needed to remain a safe place to keep its economy growing
Hong Kong’s has been hit by anti-government protests, riots and vandalism for seven months.
Sit also said that the Judiciary Police would strengthen its patrols in casinos during the Chinese New Year. He said one of the aims of the casino patrols was to clamp down on fraud involving illegal currency exchange activities.
The PJ director also promised improved crime prevention measures through increased “smart policing” and more CCTV camera surveillance.
Sit also underlined that Macau’s violent crime situation is “close to zero” – just two homicides and five cases of grievous bodily harm were recorded by the Judiciary Police last year.
40 organised crime cases
However, Sit acknowledged that the number of organised crime cases doubled to 40 last year, involving loan sharking, abetting illegal immigration, pimping, drug trafficking and fraud. He also revealed that the number of gaming-related crime cases investigated by the Judiciary Police rose by 14.5 per cent year-on-year to 2,100.
The number of loan-sharking cases recorded by the Judiciary Police increased by 8.7 per cent to 602 cases. The number of false imprisonment cases triggered by loan sharking grew by 11.7 per cent to 344, according to Sit.
Sit pointed out that the Judiciary Police have three teams tackling loan sharking.
The number of drug-trafficking cases fell by 3.3 per cent to 89. However, there was a steep rise in the number of minors from Hong Kong caught for their involvement in drug trafficking, an increase from just three in 2018 to 21 last year. A total of 86 Hong Kong citizens were nabbed for drug trafficking in Macau in 2019.
The number of domestic violence cases transferred by the Judiciary Police to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) leapt from three in 2018 to 17 last year, Sit said, pointing out that 107 alleged domestic violence cases were investigated by the Judiciary Police last year, 61 of which were finally classified as assault causing bodily harm and four as threatening behaviour.
According to the Macau Post Daily, the Judiciary Police recorded 589 fraud cases last year, a year-on-year increase of 60 such cases. According to PJ data, many of the fraud victims were students, and in many cases the fraud involved more than one million patacas.