Macau, China, 16 Sept – Budget ferry operator Macao Dragon Company sold at least 150,000 tickets through two group-buying websites before suddenly filing for liquidation.
According to the China Daily, the company’s liquidator, Lai Kar-yan, of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, said Macao Dragon will be investigated to ensure no fraud was committed before the company filed for bankruptcy.
The closure left 1,400 passengers stranded on Thursday alone.
Company staff are owed HK$1.5 million in salaries.
Lai estimated Macao Dragon had debts of more than HK$10 million.
The company in recent days had sold more than 150,000 cut-rate tickets through the group purchase websites, Groupon and BeeCrazy, and another 2,000 to 3,000 over the counter.
Macao Dragon issued a statement on Wednesday apologizing for the cessation of its services effective immediately.
The ferry company, one of the three offering ferry service between Hong Kong-Macao Ferry Terminal and Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal in Macau, had offered four regular return trips daily.
Macao Dragon had undercut the fares of its two competitors.
In its statement, Macao Dragon noted the circumstance has made it “impossible to continue to operations”.
The company blamed the Macau Maritime Administration for imposing a cap on its passenger capacity, forcing the company to carry only 600-750 passengers at one time with ferries that accommodate 1,152 at maximum.
In response to the charge, Director of the Macau Maritime Administration Susana Wong Soi-man said the ferry terminal had a capacity of only 1,000 passengers at a time.
Macao Dragon commenced operations on July 10, 2010.
Macao Dragon’s major stakeholder is businessman Ng Fok who owns President Casino in Macau. Ng is also a Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference delegate.(MacauNews/Tourism)