18-year-old female student from Mainland scammed by bogus “Public Security Officer” and stages her own kidnapping in local hotel to extort HK$5m from parents

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2nd October 2022 – (Hong Kong) There was a case involving a Public Security officer impersonator cum online love scam reported in Hong Kong recently. The victim even assisted the scammer in filming a video, pretending to be imprisoned and beaten, using tomato juice to disguise as blood stains, and extorting huge sums of money from her parents as ransom. Detectives from the Kowloon West Regional Crime Squad of the Hong Kong Police, after days of investigation, tracked down the whereabouts of the female victim in a hotel in Mong Kok, and arrested her on suspicion of “wasting police time”.

It is understood that a mainland female student studying an associate degree in Hong Kong has met a “Public Security officer” who claimed to be from Shanghai on the Internet since August. She developed feelings, fell in love, and trusted the “Public Security officer”. In mid-September, the female student once remitted HK$200,000 to her “lover” in order to prove that she has never broken the law.

The parents of the female student were later contacted and they were told that they had fallen into a scam. The parents of the female student were furious, so they immediately arranged for their daughter to return to the Mainland. The female student did not believe that she had made the wrong payment, and yesterday (30th) accompanied by her Hong Kong guardian, she reluctantly went through the application for withdrawal of study. In the afternoon of the same day, the female student went missing, and the guardian called the police to look for her. At the same time, the parents of the female student received extortion messages and clips from the scammer on WeChat.

A video footage was also included showing their daughter who was suspected of being falsely imprisoned, covered in blood, and suspected of being abused and beaten. The parents were demanded to pay a ransom of HK$5 million. The Kowloon West Regional Crime Squad intervened in the investigation. After repeated investigations, they checked CCTV footage and found that the female student had checked into a hotel in Mong Kok on her own with no evidence of kidnapping.

Later, the police revealed another information. They found that after the female student checked into the hotel, the scammer made up an excuse that she looked very similar to a wanted criminal, and asked the female student to play the role of the wanted female criminal. The female student believed it to be true, and cooperated with the “Public Security officer” to stage an episode of kidnapping.

The video and photos were eventually sent to the parents of the female student and became extortion material. The police waited at the hotel but the female student never went back to the hotel room and lingered on the street all night. When the female student finally returned to the hotel to check out today, the police took her back to the police station, and later confirmed that the female student was unharmed, she later confessed and ended the farce.

The police responded that they received a report on the evening of 30th September that the parents of the 18-year-old mainland woman suspected that their daughter, who had come to Hong Kong to study, had been kidnapped. They received photos and videos from the kidnappers showing that the woman was injured and imprisoned. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of HK$5 million from the parents. The case was handed over to the Kowloon West Regional Crime Squad for investigation. After in-depth investigation, officers found that the mainland woman was still able to walk freely in the Tsim Sha Tsui area while she claimed to have been kidnapped. Officers found and arrested the 18-year-old woman surnamed Chou in the Mong Kok district yesterday afternoon on suspicion of “wasting police time”. Investigations revealed that the arrested woman had earlier received a phone call from a fraudster claiming to be a mainland law enforcement officer, claiming that she was involved in a criminal case. In order to prove her innocence, the arrested woman participated in a “secret operation” according to the swindler’s request, took photos and videos disguised as being kidnapped by herself, and sent them to the fraudster for further action. After examination, the arrested woman was uninjured and is being detained for investigation. Police operations are still ongoing and more arrests cannot be ruled out.

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