Macau’s Judiciary Police arrested three suspects on Saturday following reports that they are helping in the smuggling operation that crosses Chinese gamblers to Macau.
China reinstated its border restrictions to Macau because of the rising rate of a novel coronavirus in some of its provinces and the whole Asian region.
Since the start of the pandemic, the novel coronavirus cases in China reached more than 80,000, including more than 4,500 deaths. Recently, China reported 68 new cases in the mainland, including two cases in Beijing.
Asia’s novel coronavirus cases and the restrictions on travel to Macau
UNICEF reported that East Asia and the Pacific reached more than 340,000 positive COVID-19 with nearly 12,000 deaths as of July 19. Indonesia saw more than 50 per cent increase in the number of cases reaching more than 85,000 this month, while the Philippines reached more than 65,000 cases over the past month.
The fast rate of new coronavirus infections in Asia has a massive impact on its casino industry. Casinos in Macau are losing hope as nations in the region intensified their campaigns to reduce the spread of the deadly disease. Because of the threat of the virus, Ferry travel between Hong Kong and Macau was halted.
Ninety per cent of visitors in Macau came from mainland China.
Casinos in the world’s largest gambling hub expect a massive cut from their revenues. Macau resumed operations of casinos in May as coronavirus cases drop to a controllable level.
The last coronavirus patient in the country sent out of the hospital last week. China’s special administrative zone celebrated its 87th day of no novel coronavirus previous week. The 46th and recent case of the virus was diagnosed with the virus after a trip to the Philippines.
Chinese gamblers smuggled into Macau
Despite strict travel restrictions between China and Macau, many gamblers try their luck to cross the border for a chance to gamble.
The Individual Visit Scheme used by gamblers to enter Macau is still suspended. It was halted in January as part of the containment measures for the deadly pathogen.
Authorities reported people-smuggling operations in the Chinese territory. Chan Wun man, the spokesperson from the Judiciary Police, confirmed the latest case on Monday. He said they responded to an intelligence report from security officials in Zhuhai.
The operation followed another incident in the Ka-Ho commercial port district in Macau.
Three suspected smugglers were arrested, including a 31-year-old casino worker in Macau, an overstaying 34-year old Chinese national, and a 65-year old woman. The authorities claimed that the suspects harboured illegal entrants to Macau. Macau authorities caught three people in another incident, claimed to be clients of the smugglers.
The spokesperson said the arrested individuals were confessed that they were avoiding the novel coronavirus preventive measures of the government and confirmed that they are in Macau to gamble.
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