Thu, May 4, 5:41pm by Staff Writer
It’s been a long road with no communication for the 14 Crown Resorts employees that are being held in China on suspicion of “gambling-related crimes,” but, at last, there has been some movement.
That movement came on Friday, when the 14 employees, including three Australians, were informed that the police investigation is now complete, and the case has been passed onto Shanghai’s Baoshan District People’s Procurator, which – according to the Australian Financial Review, who made the discovery – indicates that charges will be filed shortly.
Crown Resorts’ Vice President of VIP Operations, Jason O’Connor, is among the 14 employees that have been held without charge for almost seven months, with their legal status unknown.
This communication finally provides some light at the end of the tunnel for the group who have had visits from the Australian consulate in China. The consulate have only been able to address the prisoners’ welfare, not legal issues.
Once the charges are filed, it will provide the group with some much-needed clarity on exactly what charges they are accused of, and an indication of the length of prison term they might face.
This news comes as a group of 14 South Korean Nationals were freed after serving 18 months for “gambling related crimes”. The group included travel agents and representatives of two of South Korea’s largest casino operators, Paradise Co. and Grand Korea Leisure Co.
Just has been the case at Crown Resorts’ properties in Australia and elsewhere, VIP revenue plunged in South Korea following news of the arrests.
If Chinese authorities charge the Crown Staff with “gambling-related crimes” only, then they are facing a maximum of three years in jail, but the sentence will be much longer if charges were to more serious crimes, including money laundering.
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