The police have arrested eight mainland men for their alleged involvement in a 60-member casino loan-sharking gang, a Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesperson said at a special press conference on Thursday.
The spokesperson said that based on a tip-off in April, the police began investigating the gang.
According to the spokesperson, the suspects mainly operated near casinos in Zape where they looked for potential clients, and if the gamblers couldn’t pay back their loans, the suspects withheld their identification documents and confined them in a hotel room to ensure that they paid their gambling debts.
After identifying the suspects, the police arrested the eight men at a flat in a high-rise residential building in Avenida 24 de Junho on Wednesday, the spokesperson said, adding that the police also found a number of identification documents and I.O.U. slips, as well as a number of weapons, including knuckledusters, in the flat.
The spokesperson said the suspects admitted that they were recruited by the gang in the mainland.
The spokesperson also said the police believed that the gang, which has been operating in Macau for at least a year, has around 60 members, with the kingpin in the mainland sending up to 10 of his men to Macau each time.
According to the spokesperson, the eight suspects, who are aged 21 to 35, came to Macau legally.
All eight suspects have been transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP), facing arraignments on organised crime membership and usury charges.
The spokesperson said the police were still looking for the kingpin.