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Aust govt seeking access to 3rd Crown exec

AAP logoAAP 18/10/2016

The Australian government hopes to get access to a Crown Resorts executive being detained in China once a passport issue is resolved.

"There's a question over whether he entered on his Australian or Chinese passport, I understand, but we hope to resolve that shortly," Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop told the Nine Network on Wednesday.

The executive is one of three Australian residents and 18 Crown workers being held by Chinese authorities.

Consular officials visited two of the executives, including Crowns' VIP International executive vice-president Jason O'Connor, on Tuesday.

"They are in good health. Their wellbeing is looked after," Ms Bishop said.

All of the Crown workers were picked up late last week but charges are still to be formally laid.

Under Chinese law, authorities have up to 30 days to detain people before they must be charged, although this period can be extended by another seven days.

"It might be some time before we know what charges, if any, they are facing," Ms Bishop said.

"In the mean time, our concern is to ensure that they are being appropriately treated."

Crown Resorts is providing its Australian employees detained in China with legal representation.

Major shareholder James Packer said this week he was "deeply concerned" about their welfare.

They could be charged with gaming related offences, amid a crackdown by the Chinese government on gambling and other related activities.

These may include charges related to encouraging Chinese nationals to gamble at oversees casinos, such as Crown in Australia.

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