- Title: China arrests three Australian Crown Resorts employees
- Date: 23rd November 2016
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (NOVEMBER 23, 2016) (REUTERS) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN GENG SHUANG WALKING IN FOR REGULAR BRIEFING MEDIA SEATED (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, GENG SHUANG, SAYING: "Three Australian employees from Crown Resorts Ltd were arrested on November 18 on suspicion of gambling offences. Chinese authorities gave a brief (of the case) according to the consular agreement between China and Australia and provided assistance to the Australian consular officials who carried out the enforcement. China will continue to handle this case in accordance with the law." BRIEFING IN PROGRESS EXTERIOR OF CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY CHINESE NATIONAL FLAG FLYING
- Embargoed: 8th December 2016 09:54
- Keywords: China Australia Crown Resorts gambling employees arrest gambling offences crime
- Location: BEIJING, CHINA
- City: BEIJING, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice
- Reuters ID: LVA00159O0B45
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:China confirmed on Wednesday (November 23) that three Australian Crown Resorts employees have been arrested on suspicion of gambling offences.
Australian officials had since visited the three employees - part of a larger group of 17 Crown employees in detention since mid-October - in Shanghai, Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.
The consular visit came a day after Australian authorities confirmed that three nationals, including Crown's head of international VIP gambling, Jason O'Connor, had been formally arrested.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the trio were arrested last week.
"Three Australian employees from Crown Resorts Ltd were arrested on November 18 on suspicion of gambling offences," he said, adding that China would handle the case in accordance with the law, and that Australia had been assisted and briefed.
Eighteen Crown employees were initially detained, but one has since been released, Crown said last week. The fate of the other 14 is not clear.
Crown did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The detention of the Crown employees has sparked concern about a wider crackdown on gambling in China.
Analysts have linked the detentions - which sent Crown's shares tumbling - to Chinese laws banning casinos from advertising or promoting gambling in the Chinese mainland, for instance by offering credit to high-spending clients.
In October, Crown said "less than half" its international VIP revenue, or about 12 percent of total revenue, came from Chinese high-rollers.
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