Hong Kong police arrest three mainland Chinese men for alleged chess scam and theft

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Picture for illustration purpose only.

29th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) In recent days, the Hong Kong police arrested three mainland Chinese men, aged 49 to 65, for their alleged involvement in a chess scam and theft. The arrests were made following two reports by two elderly men, aged 69 and 70, who claimed to have lost HK$9,400 in cash while playing chess with strangers in Wan Chai and Hung Hom on 24th and 26th May.

After receiving the report, the Wan Chai district police launched an investigation and found that the suspects had been active in various parts of Hong Kong since February this year. The suspects would set up a chessboard with remaining pieces and invite unsuspecting victims to play against them with high stakes or valuable items as collateral. They would then steal the victims’ belongings when they were not paying attention.

Additionally, the suspects would also pose as Taoist priests or Buddhist monks, approach people on the streets, and offer to perform blessings or fortune-telling for a fee of several hundred to several thousand Hong Kong dollars. They would also sell protective amulets to the victims.

The police raided the suspects’ rented guesthouse in Mong Kok and the Lok Ma Chau border checkpoint and found evidence related to the chess scam and theft. The evidence included chess pieces, the clothes they wore during the crimes, about HKD 30,000 in cash, and a large number of props commonly used for street scams,such as Taoist priest costumes, fortune-telling posters, over 200 protective amulets, and a Buddhist bell.

The suspects are currently under police custody, and investigations are still ongoing. The police did not rule out the possibility of more arrests in connection with the case.