Tuesday, May 28, 2024

‘Violates laws of our country’: China warns citizens in Singapore to stay away from gambling

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“Even if overseas casinos are legally opened, cross-border gambling by Chinese citizens is suspected of violating the laws of our country,” the Chinese embassy said, adding that embassies and consulates may not be able to provide consular protection for violations

The Chinese embassy in Singapore on Monday urged its citizens in the city-state to refrain from engaging in any form of betting, saying that participation in gambling activities outside of China violates Chinese laws.

This warning coincides with Beijing’s increased efforts to combat Chinese nationals’ involvement in gambling across Southeast Asia, a region widely favoured by tourists.

In an official statement, the embassy emphasised the importance of legal compliance and urged the majority of Chinese residents in Singapore to bolster their understanding of legal obligations, specifically advising against involvement in gambling activities.

Notably, Singapore hosts two prominent casinos, one managed by Las Vegas Sands and the other by Genting Singapore.

“Even if overseas casinos are legally opened, cross-border gambling by Chinese citizens is suspected of violating the laws of our country,” Reuters quoted the embassy as saying, adding that embassies and consulates may not be able to provide consular protection for violations.

China has been intensifying its crack down on cross-border, off-shore and online gambling, sending similar warnings to several countries as it tries to curb these illegal activities and threats to citizens abroad.

“Cross-border gambling may also bring risks such as fraud, money laundering, kidnapping, detention, trafficking, and smuggling,” the Chinese embassy in Singapore said in its statement on Monday.

The Chinese embassies in South Korea and Sri Lanka also issued similar warnings recently.

On 22 February, law enforcement agencies in China and the Philippines cooperated to repatriate more than 40 Chinese nationals engaged in offshore gambling, according to a statement from the Chinese embassy in the Philippines.

“The Chinese government has always opposed any form of gambling and opposes Chinese citizens leaving the country to engage in the gambling industry,” the embassy said.

In addition, the ministers of public security of China and Vietnam agreed to enhance law enforcement cooperation and signed a memorandum of understanding on working together to combat cross-border gambling.

The Chinese embassy in Singapore said the Ministry of Public Security of China opened a reporting platform for combating cross-border and online gambling, where Chinese citizens can pass on clues and suspected activity.

With inputs from agencies

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