Hong Kong police arrest 3 men after investigation into HK$1m crypto scam

297

14th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong police have arrested three local men, aged between 31 and 34, following a month-long investigation into a cryptocurrency scam. The arrests came after a 35-year-old man reported to the police on 12th April that he had been unable to retrieve cash after selling approximately HK$1 million worth of the virtual currency Tether (USDT) at a shop in Tsim Sha Tsui, suspecting that he had been deceived.

The Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) of the Yau Tsim District undertook a thorough analysis of intelligence and conducted intensive investigations. On 13th May, they launched a coordinated operation in multiple areas across Hong Kong, resulting in the apprehension of the three suspects. The individuals are believed to have engaged in “obtaining property by deception.”

During the operation, police officers discovered 3,000 counterfeit banknotes, a cash counting machine, and a money clip at the shop premises.

Further investigation revealed that the arrested men allegedly showed the victim three stacks of counterfeit HK$500 banknotes and instructed him to transfer the equivalent value of approximately HK$1 million in Tether to a cryptocurrency wallet they provided. However, once the suspects received the virtual currency, they made various excuses to avoid handing over the cash before leaving the scene.

The police urge citizens to exercise caution when engaging in cryptocurrency transactions, advising them to choose reputable exchange stores and carefully inspect banknotes for security features. In case of any suspicion, individuals are encouraged to contact the police’s Anti-Deception Hotline at 18222.