AUSSIE GAMBLING EXECS REMAIN INCOMMUNICADO IN CHINA (Update)
But police advise that all 18 Crown Resorts employees were arrested on suspicion of committing "gambling crimes".
The arrest in China of 18 Crown Resorts employees, including three executives visiting the Australian casino companies Chinese VIP punter marketing operations, resulted in the company share price taking an almost 14 percent hit Monday as investors exhibited fears of an intensified Chinese crackdown.
Late Sunday – three days after the arrests in which all concerned have been held incommunicado – the Chinese government Foreign Office issued a brief statement confirming the arrests without giving names but confirming there were Australians among those detained.
The notification claimed that the arrests were for suspicion of committing "gambling crimes", and advised that the case remains under investigation.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Crowns executive general manager for international VIP services, Jason OConnor, who is responsible for the companies program to attract foreign high rollers to Crowns Australian casinos, was arrested by Chinese police as he tried to reach an airport in an attempt to outrun the police sweep, but there was no way of confirming this story.
A statement from Crown Resorts advised:
"To date, Crown has not been able to speak with our employees and is working closely with DFAT [Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] to urgently make contact and ascertain their welfare".