Macau police raided casinos and hotels over the weekend in an operation with Chinese and Hong Kong authorities after a series of murders and attacks targeting guests.
Police questioned nearly 1300 people and detained 149 of them for further investigation as part of operation ''Thunderbolt'', the Unitary Police Service of Macau said.
The crackdown on violent crime is a reminder of the deadly gang wars in Macau in the late 1990s, towards the end of Portuguese colonial rule. Criminal groups known as triads fought for control of casino VIP rooms and loan-sharking operations resulting in the deaths of 40 people in shoot-outs.
''Crime comes inevitably with casinos,'' said Macau lawmaker Au Kam San. ''The police make a clean-up every now and then to keep the triads in check.''