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Myanmar closes all border casinos

[ 2009-02-12 11:14]     字号 [] [] []  
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Following the closure of all casinos in a gambling-infested region bordering China and Myanmar, about 5,000 Chinese have returned home, the Beijing News reported yesterday.

Gambling is no longer legal in Maijayang, a small mountainous village of Kachin state, a haven for gamblers from China and Myanmar till recently, the newspaper said.

According to the website Kachinnews.com, till yesterday some 5,000 Chinese, who include gamblers, traders, workers and shop owners, had returned home from Myanmar after local authorities shut down all casinos in the region.

The clamp down was a result of frequent news reports about kidnappings of Chinese people by casino owners for ransom in Maijayang.

Cao Chuan, who used to work in a casino, which was shut down, returned to China on Jan 28.

"Off late, police had started visiting the casinos extremely frequently, which was unusual. But no one was really worried, till Jan 28 when the cops suddenly ordered a large number of casinos to be shut down," the Beijing News quoted Cao as saying.

According to an unnamed local witness, the casinos were closed down after a series of negotiations between Chinese authorities and Kachin Independent Organization (KIO) over kidnappings of Chinese citizens failed.

Recently, the media had reported that at least "18 teenagers" from Shanxi province were illegally trafficked to Maijayang with lucrative offers of jobs and were kidnapped.

The Chinese government had stepped up its efforts with a series of approaches, including roadblocks, cutting off water and electricity supplies, terminating mobile, internet and banking services, in a bid to stop Chinese citizens from gambling in Maijayang.

Ever since the casinos were shut down, only three Chinese-owned stores and no more than 50 Chinese are left in Maijayang, Kachinnews.com said.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Myanmar closes all border casinos

Myanmar closes all border casinosBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.