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Fed govt raises Crown arrests with China

AAP logoAAP 1/11/2016

Australia has told China of its concerns over the detention of three Crown casino executives arrested in raids last month.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan didn't specify what those concerns are, saying only that the federal government was keeping a close eye on the case.

"I raised that with both the Minister for Public Security and the Vice Minister for Public Security. I raised the concerns of the Australian government," he told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday.

"Of course, we will respect China's sovereignty. The Chinese government understands Australia's interest."

About 18 Crown Resorts employees, including the three executives and another Australian resident, were picked up on October 13.

They face potential charges related to encouraging Chinese nationals to gamble at overseas casinos, such as Crown in Australia.

It's understood that under Chinese law, they can be detained for up to 37 days before they have to be charged or released.

This implies the issue should become clearer in about two weeks.

Mr Keenan, who is visiting China this week, said the detained Australians were getting consular assistance.

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