Crime | Security situation stabilized in 2017, says Wong Sio Chak

Wong Sio Chak (center)

Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak said at a press conference last Friday that “Macau’s security situation in 2017 remained, in general, stable and favorable.”

“At the same time, the adjustment of the gaming sector has not brought consequences related to Macau’s security situation,” he added.

During the conference, Wong reported some of Macau’s crime statistics in 2017. The Macau police force filed a total of 14,293 criminal cases, 94 fewer than 2016. Some 820 violent crime cases were registered, a drop of 2.4 percent from last year due to fewer unlawful detentions (7.5 percent down) and drug trafficking cases (15.4 percent down).

Some 1,061 illegal immigrants were listed in 2017, down 31.7 percent year-on-year. Of those, 821 were from mainland China and 224 were from Vietnam.

Some 3,238 people overstayed their Individual Visit permits in Macau, while 22,166 people overstayed other mainland travel visas. About half of these were non-Chinese nationals.

Incidences of arson and the transfer of fake bank notes both increased; the former jumped 125 percent (54 cases in total) while the latter increased 7.6 percent (299 cases in total).

Ten more robberies were registered, reaching 108 cases in total.

Three homicides were recorded. 

When asked about the number of people who were denied entry to Macau, Wong replied, “normally, we do not publish these statistics. This is a usual practice worldwide.”

According to Wong, Macau will deny entry to individuals who pose a threat to Macau’s security or internal stability.   

“Both types of entry ban are in accordance with the internal security law and other relevant laws,” explained Wong.

The security authorities received 716 submissions regarding the cybersecurity law during a previous public consultation period.

“We are carrying out an analysis. After it is concluded, we will make public the related opinions to the society. […] Hopefully, we can finish the related law in the first half of this year. Afterwards, we will try to promote legislative work during the second half,” said Wong.

Some 1,847 gaming-related crime cases were recorded, four fewer than in 2016, while 448 usury cases were also reported.

“Most of the suspects and victims were not Macau residents,” revealed Wong.

Four mainland residents died during unlawful detention in Macau, either by committing suicide or falling from buildings while trying to escape.   

In 2017, five WeChat-related gaming crimes were registered. In these cases, criminal groups used the social media platform WeChat to live-broadcast gambling activities in Macau or the Philippines, with gamblers paying to join via WeChat Pay.

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