By Harry Pearl
SYDNEY Oct 15 Australia said on Saturday it was
investigating reports that three of its citizens were among a
number of Crown Resorts employees that had been
detained in China.
Australian consular staff have contacted Chinese authorities
to confirm if Australian employees of the global gambling
conglomerate are being held.
"The Australian Government is aware of reports of the
possible detention of a number of Crown International Group
employees across China, including three Australians," the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement.
A Crown Resorts spokeswoman said the company believed a
number of its employees in China were being questioned by local
At least 18 employees from the group's sales and marketing
team, including one senior executive, were rounded up, the
Australian Financial Review has reported.
It is unclear why the staff may have been detained or if any
charges have been laid.
Crown, part owned by Australian billionaire James Packer,
has substantial interests in the Chinese gambling hub of Macau.
The company operates a joint venture with Macau-based Melco
International Development, through which it owns and
operates a number of gaming and entertainment resorts.
The former Portuguese colony is the only place in China
where casino gambling is legal and has been hit by Beijing's
anti-corruption campaign targeting officials and
(Reporting by Harry Pearl; Editing by Tom Hogue)