A suspected casino loanshark was shot dead in Macau yesterday and a taxi driver was found beaten to death, taking this year's murder toll in the enclave to 30. Ma Man-wah, 32, who lived in Macau but held a Hong Kong identity card, was hit by four of five shots fired at close range by a lone gunman, a Macau Judicial Police spokesman said. The attacker struck inside a passageway in the International Commercial Centre near the Pelota Basca Casino at about 9.30am. He fired shots into Ma's head, chest and a leg before running off. 'All the bullets passed through Ma's body,' the police spokesman said. It is believed he was killed instantly. The police spokesman said the motive for the killing was not immediately known. However, other sources close to the investigation believed it was a settlement of accounts between rival casino loansharks. Preliminary ballistic tests showed that the gunman had used a 0.45 calibre handgun. Shortly after the shooting, the body of 40-year-old taxi driver Wan Chou-cheong was found by a walker on Guia Hill, a day after he disappeared and failed to hand his cab on to another driver. Wan was found lying on his back with his hands bound by wire. The body also showed wounds possibly caused by a hard object. The police spokesman said preliminary forensic examinations suggested Wan was possibly strangled and beaten to death. A total of 27 murder cases were reported in Macau last year and 29 in 1997.