Businessman scammed over HK$1.5m worth of Tether coins at currency exchange shop in Chungking Mansions (Updated: 11pm)

Chungking Mansions

4th May 2022 – (Hong Kong) A crypto currency robbery took place in Tsim Sha Tsui today. At 1.11pm, the police received a report from a woman who said that she and her employer had met a buyer in “Super Coin” crypto currency exchange shop to trade bitcoins in the Chungking Mansions shopping mall, No. 36 to 44 Nathan Road earlier.

A male businessman surnamed Choi (30 years old) who owns a company in Tsim Sha Tsui specialising in crypto currency trading, brought his male staff member (30 years old) and a female staff member surnamed Cheng (26 years old) to a crypto currency exchange shop in Chungking Mansions to trade Tether coins with a male buyer. The buyer later showed up, obtained the relevant virtual currency transaction link from the three people, and falsely claimed to go to the staff room of the exchange to get cash payment. He then locked the glass front door of the shop before entering the staff room. He falsely claimed that he needed to go to withdraw money, locked the victims in the shop and left the scene. The victims later realised that they had been deceived, and found that more than HK$1.5 million worth of crypto coins in their account had been transferred away so one of the staff members immediately called the police for help.

Police officers blocked the currency exchange shop involved in the case, and checked the CCTV footage of the entrance and exit of the mall to track down the whereabouts of the suspect involved. The case is temporarily handed over to the Yau Tsim Police District Criminal Investigation Team for follow-up.

It is understood that the female staff had previously traded virtual currency with the scammer, and today’s transaction was only possible due to the successful completion of the previous transaction. The two parties originally traded Tether coins worth about 4.5 million Hong Kong dollars, but this round Choi first transferred the Tether coins worth about 1.5 million Hong Kong dollars to the buyer’s account, and the whole transaction was completed before the other party paid the full amount. The virtual currency exchange shop involved has been in business for about a month, and there was a money counter and a tablet computer with no information left in the store. It is believed that someone deliberately committed the crime. The scammer claimed that when he entered the staff room to get money, he shouted “Please prepare cash in HK$1,000 banknotes!” pretending that there were other people in the staff room in order to reduce the victims’ suspicion.