Government pledges to safeguard public security amid gaming adjustment

Secretary for Security, Mr Wong Sio Chak, meets the press.

The Government will continue to assess the social impacts of the ongoing adjustment in the city’s gaming industry, and will take all necessary measures to ensure those changes do not affect public security, said the Secretary for Security, Mr Wong Sio Chak. Mr Wong’s comments were made after the Beijing-Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Prison Forum, held in Macao on 14 October. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr Wong stressed that Macao remains a safe city, as shown by the official crime statistics for the first two quarters of 2015. He noted that there had been a continuous decrease in serious criminal cases, in addition to improved rates of crime detection. Mr Wong also mentioned improvements made in crime prevention and control. The Secretary acknowledged that the adjustment in the gaming industry could pose some challenges to Macao’s public security. Therefore, the Government would strengthen supervision and security controls in casinos and their vicinity, he said. These measures would be implemented under the guiding principle of not hindering the development of the gaming industry, Mr Wong added. Questioned about the control of financial activities in the gaming sector, the Secretary said the Government had specific departments overseeing that area. Any suspected criminal activity would be reported to the relevant authorities, he stressed. Regarding the alleged fraud case involving Macao gaming promoter Dore, the Judiciary Police is probing the case, following the complaints it has received, Mr Wong said. He added that this case was complex as it involved numerous people and a large amount of capital. The police would make further announcements based on the progress of the investigation, he added. Mr Wong also stated that the Government is looking into revising the legislation on illegal immigration. The revision might include the increase of detention period to 90 days from the current 60 days. The Secretary explained that 60 days could be insufficient for the police to complete the repatriation procedures in more complex cases. In those cases, issuing a “temporary stay permit” to illegal immigrants – who might not have enough funds to support themselves in Macao – could impact social stability, Mr Wong added.

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