HK police arrest former pro-democracy district councillor in connection with 9 phone scam cases involving close to HK$1m losses

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Wong Chun-yeung

7th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) A 90-year-old woman in Hong Kong was scammed out of HK$300,000 on 30th May after receiving a call from a man claiming to be her son who said he needed money for bail after being arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. The woman handed over the money, but later realised she had been tricked and reported the incident to the police.

On 5th June, police arrested a 28-year-old man named Wong Chun-yeung in connection with the scam. He is suspected of being involved in eight similar cases, all of which took place between 29th May and 5th June with a total of HK$670,000 being stolen from eight victims aged between 71 and 93 years old. The victims were all women.

Wong, who is a former district councillor in Hong Kong, is accused of using deception to obtain property. The police believe that Wong was part of a larger phone scam ring that recruited members on social media and paid them HK$1,000 to HK$1,500 per day to collect money from victims. The ring would then meet up in public places or shopping mall washrooms to exchange the money and avoid detection by the police.

The police have stated that their investigation is ongoing, and they have not ruled out the possibility of further arrests.

Ex-Islands District Council member Wong Chun-yeung made headlines in 2020 when he announced that he would not provide assistance to citizens who supported the enactment of the Article 23 national security law. Article 23 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law requires the government to enact laws to prohibit acts of treason, secession, sedition, and subversion against the central government. The legislation failed in 2003 following mass protests, but was imposed by Beijing last year without local legislative oversight.

Wong’s decision to refuse assistance to citizens who supported the law was met with criticism from pro-Beijing politicians, and he was subsequently investigated by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Wong said in a Facebook post that the investigation forced him to cancel a street stall event inviting members of the public to write mid-Autumn festival postcards to 12 Hong Kong activists detained in mainland China, including one charged with violating the security law.