Consular Contact Yet To Be Made As Crown Gets Questioned In China

China doesn't have to notify Australia of arrests for three days.

17/10/2016 9:10 AM AEDT | Updated 17/10/2016 9:23 AM AEDT
Crown Resorts executive Jason O'Connor is being questioned by Chinese authorities.

CANBERRA -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) is still trying to reach the Australian employees of James Packer's Crown Resorts group, including a top executive, who were swept up late last week in an anti-corruption drive by Chinese authorities.

Crown is also yet to speak to any of its 18 employees who were detained last Thursday and Friday in raids across mainland China, including senior executive Jason O'Connor.

"We are aware of reports of the possible detention of a number of Crown International Group employees across China overnight on 13-14 October, including three Australians," a DFAT spokeswoman said in a statement.

"Chinese authorities have three days in which to notify of the detention of Australians according to the terms of a bilateral consular treaty."

Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg
Crown Resort's City OF Dreams complex in Macau

Crown Resorts, which runs three casinos in the rich autonomous territory known as the 'Vegas of Asia,' is not revealing the reason for the arrests.

"Crown believes that Jason O'Connor, the head of Crown's VIP International team is one of 18 Crown employees being questioned by Chinese authorities," a Crown spokeswoman said in a statement.

O'Connor reportedly heads up a program designed to lure "high roller" gamblers to Crown Casino in Melbourne.

"To date, Crown has not been able to speak with our employees and is working closely with DFAT to urgently make contact and ascertain their welfare.

"Crown is staying in close contact with and is providing support to the families of our employees in China and Australia."

Chinese authorities are in the midst of an anti-corruption drive targeting money laundering at Macau casinos.

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