Chinese media reports kidnappings of gamblers in Burma

Several recent articles in 今日早报, a Zhejiang Province newspaper, report on residents of the province being “tricked” into gambling trips to casinos across the Yunnan border in Burma by usurers who first lend money to their clients and then imprison, beat and threaten them when they are unable to pay back their debts. In Tonglu 桐庐 County  alone, ten cases of such false imprisonment had been reported by the end of 2008 (and most are not reported, as gambling is itself illegal in China, and the gamblers may face punishment). One of the victims has not been recovered, and the total of the money involved is over 10 million yuan.

The article credits Chinese police with forcing the closure of several casinos across the border, and suggests that such methods of recruiting clients in faraway Zhejiang are partly a result of casino owners’ worries about dropping business.

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