CROWN DETAINEES NOW OFFICIALLY ARRESTED (Update)
Chinese law now enables authorities to hold detainees for longer whilst investigations are concluded.
In the latest development in the Chinese detentions of 17 Crown Resorts employees, the weekend saw the end of the 37 days that Chinese officials are allowed to "detain" suspects without charging or formally "arresting" them (there is apparently a distinction between "detaining" suspects and "arresting" perpetrators).
The investigators have now announced that the suspects have been formally arrested, allowing the police to keep them in custody for up to six more months until enquiries have been concluded.
Our readers will recall that 18 Crown Resorts employees in China, including three visiting Australian executives, were detained in October on undefiled but what are believed to be gambling promotion related charges.
Subsequently one – Jenny Jiang – was released on bail, but the others have remained in custody despite diplomatic efforts.
Although it is widely believed that the detentions were in connection with organizing Chinese high rollers to gamble in Australia, the authorities have yet to specify exactly what charges they are investigating, or what stage the enquiry has reached.