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.