Macau's former chief prosecutor charged with nearly 2,000 crimes

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This picture taken on September 19, 2012 shows gambling machines in the Cotai new Sands casino in Macau.Image source, AFP/Getty
Image caption,
Macau, known as the 'Las Vegas of Asia', is a popular gambling destination

The former chief prosecutor in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau has been charged with nearly 2,000 crimes.

Ho Chio-meng is accused of setting up a criminal syndicate, abuse of power, and money laundering.

Relatives and colleagues of the prosecutor - who was once tipped to become Macau's leader - have also been charged.

Macau, a one-time Portuguese colony, is the world's largest gambling centre and has a reputation for crime.

Mr Ho, who was prosecutor general from 1999-2014, was arrested in February while trying to board a ferry to Hong Kong.

The 1,970 charges against him include accusations that he and his associates took kickbacks worth 44 million patacas (£4.3m; $5.5m) from construction projects.

The former official is currently in prison after Macau's top court ruled he might flee the city if granted bail. His trial is set to begin on 5 December.