Violent crimes increase 4.7pct y-on-y in 2019

A total of 673 violent crime cases were reported in Macau in 2019, an increase of 4.7 per cent year-on-year, according to the annual crime report published today by the Office of the Secretary for Security.

This increase was attributted mainly to a rise in kidnapping, theft and rape cases.

Kidnapping cases, generally associated with loan sharking groups forcing someone to pay off gaming credit debts, increased 8 per cent from 2018, with some 353 cases, while some 80 theft cases were reported, more 16 per cent.

‘Most kidnapping crimes are related to criminal associations dedicated to loan sharking. To combat this type of crime, the Police carried out specific operations, as well as carried out actions in close cooperation with the police authorities of the neighboring regions, having dismantled several criminal groups and obtained significant results,’ authorities indicated in the report.

‘Some types of crime have increased in certain months, and we believe that this increase is related to the reinforcement of patrolling and the fight against crime carried out by the Police during that same period.’

On October 28 of last year, the police authorities of Macau and Zhuhai launched a joint operation called ‘Operation Two Spears’ that dismantled a cross-border loan sharking group, with local authorities arresting 38 people involved and seized capital in the amount of HK$5.5million.

Then on November 25, 2019 the police authorities 6 of Macau and Zhuhai carried out another joint operation, with 28 people arrested in Macau and 17 bank accounts used in gambling rooms in the casinos frozen, covering around HK$400,000.

However, last year rape cases also increased by 43.3 per cent, with some 43 cases reported.

Nevertheless, authorities considered that other violent crimes were on the downturn, especially sexual crimes against minors and serious bodily harm offenses, which were said to have decreased 54.2 per cent and 43 per cent year-on-year, respectively.

Concerning other gaming related crimes, Police authorities indicated they managed to detect 245 illegal gambling sites and successfully blocked 177 of them, with the help of foreign companies that provide website registration or server storage services.