Crown Resorts staff face detention for at least another year

The investigation of the 17 Crown Resorts staff in China is looking to last for at least another year, dashing earlier hopes for a speedy trial, local media reports.

Last year, China arrested 18 employees from Australia’s Crown Resorts, including the group’s head of international business, for alleged and unspecified gambling crimes. In November, a junior employee was released, though the others remain in detention.

“The Chinese investigation is ongoing and could continue for over a year,” said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in a response to questions from media outlet Australian Financial Review.

It was previously thought that the detainees will know the charges they were facing by mid-2017, allowing for a trial and conviction in the months following.

It is understood Crown is seeking to have the Australians serve any custodial sentence at home, under a bilateral prisoner transfer agreement.