8th June 2023 – (Macao) The Macao authorities have announced an overall increase of 17% in crime for the first quarter of this year, with a total of 3,006 cases reported. The development trend of illegal currency exchange and its associated crimes has been a cause for concern, with the activities of “money changers” having a long-term impact on local security, including serious crimes such as fraud, imprisonment, assault, and murder.
According to local law enforcement data, the cases involving “money changers” in Macau during the first quarter of this year were mainly related to fraud, such as practice coupon and remittance fraud. Law enforcement officers have intercepted 3,655 “money changers” during their operations, an increase of 78.4% compared to the same period last year, with the vast majority being mainland Chinese citizens, and exhibiting a clear trend towards organised crime. The authorities believe that the increased number and activity of “money changers” are closely related to the easing of the pandemic, relaxed immigration policies, and the recovery of the gambling industry.