News National James Packer’s Aussie employees detained in China

James Packer’s Aussie employees detained in China

James Packer
Detained citizens are from Packer's sales and marketing team. Photo: Getty
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Three Australian citizens are reportedly among 18 employees of James Packer’s Crown Resorts group that have been detained in China.

The three Australians are members of Crown’s sales and marketing team.

One of the individuals is believed to be a senior executive.

“Crown believes that a number of our employees in China are being questioned by local authorities and at this time we can provide no further details,” a Crown Resorts spokesman said in a statement.

macau casino
Anti-corruption crackdown has affected business across the casino sector. Photo: ABC

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said it was trying to confirm the reports with Chinese authorities.

“The Australian Government is aware of reports of the possible detention of a number of Crown International Group employees across China, including three Australians,” a spokesperson for DFAT said.

“Consular officials are seeking to confirm these reports with the relevant Chinese authorities.

“If Australians have been detained, consular officials will seek to offer appropriate consular assistance in accordance with the Consular Services Charter.”

In recent years a government anti-corruption crackdown has affected business across the casino sector.

In 2009 Stern Hu, a senior executive for mining giant Rio Tinto, was charged as part of China’s corruption crackdown with taking and receiving commissions.

Mr Hu pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison after admitting to stealing commercial secrets.

The crackdown has resulted in falling revenues with Crown and other big players reporting fewer customers and adding pressure on sales staff to fill the resorts.

However it is unclear if the sales pressure is related to the Crown staff being detained.

The Crown group runs three casinos in Macau.

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