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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 June, 2004, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK
UAE arrests Chinese for gambling
Police in the Gulf emirate of Sharjah have arrested 61 Chinese men and women on gambling charges, police said.

The group were arrested while engaged in casino-style gambling - an activity that is illegal throughout the United Arab Emirates.

If convicted, the men and women face up to two years in prison or fines of almost $5,500 and then deportation.

The tenant of the apartment where the arrests took place faces up to 10 years in prison.

A report on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed the arrests had taken place in mid-May.

Drugs seized

It said UAE authorities had seized a large sum of money, gambling equipment and drugs.

Officials from the Chinese embassy held talks with the UAE authorities and urged them to handle the case fairly, the report added.

The arrests were part of a year-long campaign to crack down on crime and illegal immigrants.

The emirate is famed for its strict decency laws introduced in 2001, which ban revealing dress and public displays of affection.

Country profile: United Arab Emirates
23 Dec 03  |  Country profiles


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