Missing Hong Kong man arrested in Taiwan as accomplice in fraud ring

Chan Lam-wa

22nd February 2024 – (Taipei) A Hong Kong man, Chan Lam-wa, who had claimed to be visiting Taiwan for tourism, has been arrested by Taipei authorities after it was discovered that he was involved in a fraudulent syndicate as a driver responsible for transporting illicit funds. Chan’s family in Hong Kong had reported him missing on 22nd February, as they had not heard from him since 24th January. Recent reports from Taiwanese media have shed light on his true activities while in Taiwan.

According to Taipei’s Wenshan Second Precinct, they received a report from a citizen who had been invited to join a Line group focused on stock investments. Within the group, false investment advisors and members deliberately created an illusion of profitability, leading the victim to invest over NT$10 million (approximately HK$2.5 million). However, when the victim attempted to withdraw funds, they realised they had been deceived and promptly reported the incident to the police. In a strategic move, the authorities coordinated with the victim to arrange a meeting with the fraudsters to deliver the remaining funds as planned. The police set up an ambush and successfully apprehended two individuals posing as investment consultants, Chan and Tsai. During the arrest, cash amounting to NT$27,300 (around HK$6,900), payment receipts, identification cards, stamps, and mobile phones were seized. It has been revealed that one of the suspects held a short-term 30-day visa as a Hong Kong resident. The case is now being transferred to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office for further investigation, involving charges of fraud and money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Chan Lam-wa’s friend had previously posted a missing person notice on Facebook, stating that the 31-year-old had dined at an izakaya in Banqiao District, New Taipei City, on 16th January. He had planned to attend a basketball game at Xinzhuang Gymnasium on 21st January. However, Chan’s elder brother reported that they had been unable to contact him since January 24th. The only communication they had was a phone call on 27th January, during which Chan sounded distressed and exclaimed, “Something happened,” before abruptly hanging up.

The family is deeply concerned about Chan’s well-being and has been tirelessly seeking information about his whereabouts. They revealed that Chan had expressed his intention to visit Taipei on 9th January. Evidence from WhatsApp conversations confirms his presence in the Banqiao District on 16th January. Despite their efforts, all leads have gone cold since late January.

Chan Lam-wa, a resident of On Tin Estate in Lam Tin, left his home on 6th January, seemingly embarking on a solo trip to Taiwan. However, his activities took an unexpected turn, leading to his involvement in the fraudulent scheme. Desperate to find answers, his family has reported him missing and is now preparing to travel to Taiwan on 22nd February to file a report and aid in the search. The last known location of Chan was in the Banqiao District, specifically Dongmen Street, where he was seen having breakfast near Grace Hotel.