Crime | Casino scams involving large sums reported by the police

The Judiciary Police (PJ) has reported a series of scams which mostly involved mainland residents who were in Macau as tourists. Two of these scams took place at local casinos and involved the exchange of cash for gaming chips, or currency exchange from HKD to RMB, the PJ spokesperson informed yesterday at the joint press conference held at a Public Security Police Force (PSP) facility.

A third case involved a local woman who had allegedly been scammed out of a large amount of money by a man she met via social media.

The first two cases reported by the PJ were scams in which the victims were swindled out of large amounts of money. The first case involved two men from the mainland who allegedly exchanged cash for gambling chips, with the victim reporting a loss of HKD1.3 million to the authorities.

According to the report from December 31 last year, the victim initially met the suspect through a third person. Then the suspect told the victim that he had contacts at a casino who would allow him to double the cash amount handed over when exchanging it for gambling chips.

The victim accepted the deal and handed HKD1.3 million to the suspect, who asked him to wait in a casino lobby area.

Eventually, the suspect failed to return and the victim did not receive the HKD2.6 million in chips he was expecting, leading him file a report against the suspect.
Last Sunday, the PJ finally managed to detain the suspect while he was reentering Macau through the Border Gate checkpoint.

The suspect was handed to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) yesterday morning.

A separate case involving two mainland residents occurred on the afternoon of March 29. The victim reported to the PJ that he wanted to exchange HKD300,000 to RMB and that the next day he found a woman who told him she could do the task and transfer the money directly into his mainland bank account.

He accepted and handed the cash to the woman, who then used her mobile phone to supposedly perform a bank transfer.

After a few minutes, she showed the victim that the transfer had been made successfully on her phone, which he believed. After finishing the transaction and losing contact with the woman, the victim then realized that he had in fact not received any money in his account and filed a complaint against the woman for the scam.

Last Sunday, the police detained the woman for investigation while she reentered Macau through Border Gate checkpoint,. According to the PJ report, she refused to cooperate and did not admit to the crime. Even so, the PJ believes that there is enough evidence to prosecute her and handed her to the MP.

Meanwhile, in another case, a local woman in her fifties has allegedly been scammed by a man from Singapore who was working as an engineer in Turkey.

The woman claimed she had met the man on social media and they had been chatting frequently for a long period of time.

In March this year, the man said he had found a profitable business opportunity through his job in Turkey but he had no money to invest. He asked the woman to lend him EUR30,000 (about MOP270,000), promising to return it as soon as he finished his business.

The woman believed the story and transferred the amount to a bank account in Italy upon his request.
Earlier this month the man contacted her again, saying he had suffered a work accident and needed urgent money for treatment. He asked her for another EUR20,000 (MOP180,000).

She accepted the story again and transferred the money. However, after losing contact with the man and speaking to her family members she realized she had been involved in a scam and decided to report the case to the PJ, claiming a total loss of MOP454,420.

Non-resident worker accused of illegally hosting her son

A 35-year-old Filipino woman has been accused by the Public Security Police Force (PSP) of helping her underage son illegally stay in Macau for a period of about four years, the PSP spokesperson reported.

According to the report, the woman was caught during a document check performed by the PSP on June 14 at the Travessa do Cais in the Inner Harbor area.

The woman, a non-resident worker working in the territory as a security guard, was in the company of a minor who was found to be her son.

The police found that the child had been illegally brought into Macau as a tourist back in 2015.

The mother is now accused of helping the son remain in Macau illegally and is being charged with lodging an illegal immigrant.

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