22 arrested for scamming multiple victims via “all-in-one” low-interest loans

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14th May 2022 – (Hong Kong) From September to October 2021, the police received reports from a number of citizens who said they had received calls from scammers, falsely claiming to be employees of local banks or financial companies, and selling them “all-in-one” low-interest loan offers. When the victim expressed interest in taking out a loan, the scammers would then ask the victims to deposit money into a designated accounts as a security deposit or proof of assets to increase the chances of the loan being approved. When the scammers received the advance amount, they would disappear and the victims would not receive the relevant loan.

The police conducted in-depth investigations and targeted the mastermind and key members of the criminal syndicate, as well as a call centre. They then launched an operation a few days ago, and raided many places in Hong Kong for two consecutive days (12th to 13th) including 2 financial companies in Mong Kok and a call centre in Kwai Chung Industrial Building. During the operation, 17 men and 5 women (aged 19 to 38) were arrested on suspicion of “conspiracy to defraud” and “dealing with property known or believed to represent the proceeds of an indictable crime (commonly known as money laundering)”. They were detained for investigation. The Chief Inspector of the Commercial Crime Bureau of the Police, Wing-yen Ou, believes that this operation has successfully dismantled a low-interest loan fraud syndicate that was active in the local area.

The arrested persons include the syndicate mastermind, a key member, 2 directors from 2 licensed financial companies, 14 telephone company employees and 4 proxy account holders. Some of the arrested persons have triad backgrounds. During the operation, the police seized more than 10 computers and about 60 mobile phones. At the same time, they also seized advertisements used to promote low-interest loans, borrower application forms, cash, watches and gold objects of nearly HK$1.2 million. It has been in operation for more than half a year, involving at least 7 low-interest loan fraud cases. The victims in the case ranged in age from 23 to 46, and the losses ranged from HK$30,000 to HK$1.36 million, with a total loss of about HK$1.9 million.

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