Police arrest 8 syndicate members involved in money laundering of over HK$90m, counterfeit banknotes seized

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26th March 2022 – (Hong Kong) Earlier, the police launched an investigation based on intelligence and found a money laundering syndicate that controlled proxy accounts, recruited low-income people as proxies by reimbursing them to open virtual bank accounts, and instructed them to hand over the login bank account information to the core members of the group to engage in money laundering activities.

Preliminary investigation found that the syndicate was suspected of using proxy accounts to launder more than HK$10 million from September to November last year involving 30 fraud cases, including 17 investment fraud cases, 12 online romance scam cases, and 1 online shopping scam case.

The 30 fraud cases occurred from May to December last year involving a total loss of HK$65 million. The 30 victims (7 males and 23 females), ranging in age from 24 to 65, included businessmen, clerks, managers, housewives, retirees, etc., with losses ranging from HK$110,000 to over HK$17 million.

After an in-depth investigation, the police found that the core members of the syndicate and the proxy account holders controlled a total of 38 local bank accounts, and received a total of HK$91 million from unknown sources from August 2018 to January 2022.

Police arrested 3 key members and 5 proxy account holders at various locations in Hong Kong and Kowloon yesterday. Among them were five local men, two local women and one Thai man, aged between 29 and 73. They reported being unemployed, cleaner, customer service staff, chef, etc. They were suspected of “dealing with property known or believed to represent the proceeds of an indictable offence” (commonly known as “money laundering”), conspiracy to deal with property known or believed to represent the proceeds of an indictable offence.

Among them, a local man and two local women, aged between 30 and 73, were also arrested on suspicion of manufacturing counterfeit banknotes. Police seized bank cards, letters, mobile phones and electronic devices related to the case.

The police seized 25 counterfeit banknotes with a face value of HK$500 worth HK$12,500, as well as a set of counterfeit money-making tools and other evidence, including a home computer and home printer, glitter crayons, knife, cutting pads, and a large number of counterfeit banknotes. paper, etc.

The police believe that counterfeit banknotes have been manufactured and used in the market. It is reported that the quality of the seized counterfeit banknotes is of low quality, and it is not difficult for the public to distinguish them. Police are tracing the whereabouts of the money involved, and it is not ruled out that more people will be arrested later.

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