26th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) In a three-day operation, police arrested nine men and five women on charges including money laundering and obtaining property by deception. The suspects are believed to be involved in 24 fraud cases, including online shopping scams, investment fraud, online romance scams, and recruitment scams, involving a total of HK$45 million.
According to police, the highest amount of losses in a single case was HK$12.7 million, involving an online investment scam in cryptocurrency. A middle-aged woman met the suspect on a social media platform and was lured to invest in bitcoin through a fake program. The suspect showed her fake records of profits, and she transferred money to the suspect multiple times. When she tried to withdraw her profits and found the suspect had disappeared, she realised she had been scammed and reported the incident to the police.
All 14 suspects, aged between 19 and 46, claimed to be locals and held various occupations such as construction workers, housewives, and unemployed. Many of them were puppet account holders, and they have been released on bail pending further investigation.
The police have urged the public to stay vigilant against online scams and to verify the identity and legitimacy of any investment opportunity before making any financial transactions. They also advised the public to report any suspicious activities to the police immediately.