A total of 37 people, including 21 in Macau, were arrested on Monday following a joint investigation between local and mainland Chinese police into a criminal syndicate that used mainland point of sale (POS) payment terminals to withdraw cash.
According to Macau’s Judiciary Police, the syndicate had been operating an underground bank style of operation in which members supplied cash to customers in Macau using the POS terminals, which made it look like the transactions were being conducted on the mainland.
The syndicate had reportedly been operating since 2016 when it began recruiting mainlanders to go to Macau. The group had since opened five accounts in an unspecified VIP room at a local casino as a source of funding. Police reportedly seized HK$24 million from the five accounts this week.
According to a police spokesman, simultaneous operations were run on Monday this week in Macau and a number of mainland cities. Twenty-one people were subsequently arrested by the Judiciary Police after nine residential units were raided, with 32 mainland POS terminals seized. A further 16 people were arrested in the mainland cities of Beijing, Hebei, Hubei, Tianjin and Zhuhai respectively, with more bank cards and POS terminals seized.
Authorities said that five of those arrested had admitted to conspiring with two local Macau companies to apply for Non-resident Worker’s Identification Cards with false information as well as falsifying documents.