CRIME | Painter scam could have spread to Macau

João Pedro Lau

The Public Security Police (PSP) has detained a mainlander who was alleged to be selling a traditional Chinese painting on the street. However, it is uncertain whether the case is also linked to a new type of scam that was wildly circulated on the Internet.
PSP information suggested that officers on patrol found a 37-year-old man on the Avenida de Lisboa, displaying a traditional Chinese painting on the ground. When questioned about his actions, the man revealed that he was trying to sell the painting. He also claimed to have bought the painting in mainland with RMB300 and intended to sell it for RMB600.
Nevertheless, PSP discovered that the detainee, with the surname Yu, was in fact a mainland tourist from Jiangxi. Since he did not apply for any permission to work in Macau, he is accused of breaching the conditions of his visa. Although the PSP claimed that Yu was detained solely because of this, the case has reminded people of a message that was circulated on the Internet and was reported by some Hong Kong newspapers.
It is suggested that there is a new scam being used in Hong Kong that involves paintings being displayed on the ground. If any pedestrian accidentally stepped on the painting, the “seller” would claim that the painting was in fact a national treasure and would ask the pedestrian to compensate.
After the message went viral, Hong Kong residents started to report the locations where these paintings were displayed.
Moreover, a 33-year-old man from the mainland was arrested and found guilty in Hong Kong for obstructing the public space, acting as an unlicensed hawker and violating his visa, after he was found selling a painting on the street.
Separately, PSP has been recording cases where people were alleged to have been caught handing out pornographic flyers that promoted massage services. However, it seems that people no longer distribute flyers by hand alone. During their patrol on the Rua de Luís Gonzaga Gomes at around 1.30 a.m. on July 5, officers have seen a man who was alleged to have flyers falling from his pockets onto the ground. PSP inspected the flyers and found pornographic images on them. After they intercepted the man, who was from the mainland, he admitted to receiving RMB150 to distribute the flyers after losing all his money in gambling. The case has been handed to the Public Prosecution Office.

Categories Macau