Police arrest 210 individuals in New Territories North for scams and money laundering, involving losses of HK$330 million

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3rd April 2024 – (Hong Kong) The New Territories North Police District recorded a significant increase in fraud cases, with a total of 9,497 cases reported in 2023, marking an annual rise of over 50%. These cases involved investment and job scams, resulting in losses amounting to HK$970 million. In response to this alarming trend, the police launched a two-week operation from 20th March to 2nd April targeting fraud and money laundering activities. As a result, 210 individuals, including three minors, were arrested for offences related to obtaining property by deception and money laundering. The operation encompassed 152 local cases, with a cumulative loss of HK$330 million. Notably, one retiree fell victim to a scam, losing a staggering HK$32 million, making it the highest individual loss in this operation.

The New Territories North Police District, in collaboration with four other police divisions, initiated the “Operation Wavecruiser” to combat fraud and money laundering. During the operation, a total of 151 locations were raided across Hong Kong. The arrests targeted individuals suspected of engaging in crimes related to obtaining property by deception and money laundering. Of the 210 arrested individuals, 138 were male and 72 were female, ranging in age from 15 to 80 years old. The operation focused on 152 local cases, resulting in a total loss of HK$330 million. Most of the arrested individuals are believed to have acted as dummy account holders. They were lured by fraud syndicates to open bank accounts with promises of monetary incentives. Subsequently, they provided these accounts to the syndicates to receive fraudulent proceeds.

The total criminal proceeds involved in this operation amounted to HK$40 million. The police managed to prevent the transfer of HK$3.17 million of these proceeds. Additionally, a significant seizure of evidence was made, including bank documents, ATM cards, and mobile phones. Two men and one woman have been charged with the offence of “dealing with property known or believed to represent the proceeds of an indictable offence. The case was brought to the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts on 30th March. The remaining arrested individuals have been granted bail and are required to report to the police in late April for further investigation.