DFAT confirms jailed Crown staff released in China


China has released 10 employees of the 16 Crown Resorts staff who were detained in October and sentenced last month for gambling crimes.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed in a statement the two Australians were released on Wednesday “at the conclusion of their sentence”.

The department said it would not provide any further comment on individuals citing “privacy obligations”

Four employees, including Australian national Jerry Xuan, emerged from a Shanghai detention facility accompanied by family members and security officials, according to a Reuters reporter at the scene.

They left immediately in cars without speaking to media.

Another six were released from a second facility in the city, said a man who identified himself as a lawyer for the families and who declined to give his name.

“Everything went ok,” a family member of one of the employees told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Nineteen employees were detained as Crown was trying to attract high-spending Chinese to its casinos outside of China, where gambling is illegal except in the territory of Macau.

Of those, 16, including three Australians, were fined and sentenced to jail terms ranging from nine to 10 months, back-dated to their October detention.

Crown’s head of international VIP gambling, Australia’s Jason O’Connor, was sentenced to 10 months in jail and fined RMB2 million, or $A390,000.

Crown Resorts executive Jason O'Connor will be released in August.Crown Resorts executive Jason O’Connor will be released in August. Photo: Supplied

Australian-Chinese dual nationals, Mr Xuan and Jane Pan Dan, received sentences of nine months’ imprisonment and were also fined $A78,000 and $A39,000 respectively.

Another staff member setenced to nine months in prison is expected to be released on Thursday.

The three other defendants, who had been released on bail last November, were not fined or sentenced to prison.

The incident prompted Crown to shift focus to its home market.

It had been a shareholder of Macau-focused Melco Resorts& Entertainment Ltd but sold its remaining stake for $1.16 billion in May.

Crown Resorts declined to comment.

By Bevan Shields
Sydney Morning Herald


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