Australian company says 18 employees questioned in China

Australia-based gambling company Crown Resorts Ltd. says a senior executive is among 18 employees being questioned in China.

The company said in a statement on Monday: "Crown believes that Jason O'Connor, the head of Crown's VIP International team, is one of 18 Crown employees being questioned by Chinese authorities."

Fairfax Media reported over the weekend that three Australians visiting China on business as well as local Chinese employees based in several major Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai were detained late Thursday. O'Connor is among the Australians.

Crown says it has been unable to speak with its employees and is working closely with Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The department says that China has three days to notify Australia of the Australians' detention under a bilateral agreement.