Police arrests 39 individuals in connection with fraud cases involving HK$71 million

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18th June 2024 – (Hong Kong) Police in the Yau Tsim Mong District initiated a week-long operation ” from Tuesday, June 11th, to today. During this period, a total of 34 men and 5 women, aged between 17 and 63, were apprehended in various locations across Hong Kong and the New Territories. These individuals are suspected of crimes including “obtaining property by deception,” “theft,” and “money laundering.” The arrested individuals claimed to work as salespersons, construction workers, truck drivers, and unemployed individuals. They primarily served as puppet account holders, believed to have participated in criminal activities in exchange for substantial sums of money. The majority of them have been granted bail pending further investigation.

Throughout the operation, the law enforcement department successfully uncovered and resolved a total of 36 fraud cases, including 8 cases related to online shopping scams, 8 cases involving online job scams, 6 cases of telephone fraud, 4 cases of online investment scams, and 10 cases of various other types of scams. The victims of these fraudulent activities ranged in age from 18 to 71, collectively suffering financial losses amounting to a staggering HK$71 million.

One notable case involved virtual currency, wherein the law enforcement department received reports from six victims between 14th and 29th May. The victims stated that fraudsters had advertised through social media platforms, claiming to offer favourable exchange rates for virtual currencies. Trusting the perpetrators, the victims followed their instructions and proceeded to a shop unit in a Tsim Sha Tsui mall to conduct the transactions. Prior to the victims’ arrival, members of the criminal group would prepare the premises by placing posters, setting up point-of-sale machines, and even distributing counterfeit banknotes, creating an illusion of a legitimate virtual currency exchange business to lull victims into a false sense of security.

Once the victims transferred their virtual currencies to the designated electronic wallets as instructed by the fraudsters, the perpetrators would swiftly leave the location under pretexts such as “urgent matters” or “cash withdrawal,” before disappearing entirely. In this particular case, the six victims collectively suffered a total loss of HK$1.24 million. Following extensive investigations and intelligence analysis, law enforcement personnel ultimately arrested a male and a female suspect, aged 22 and 24 respectively, on charges of “conspiracy to commit fraud.” The male suspect was responsible for receiving and attending to the victims on-site, while the female suspect was involved in the setup and preparation of the premises. The law enforcement department will continue its efforts to pursue other individuals involved in the case, including the lessee of the commercial unit and the owner of the electronic wallets, with the possibility of further arrests.