Crime | Phone swindlers claim new victims

Several victims have reported cases of phone fraud in the last few days, a Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesperson said yesterday in a press conference.

The police warned citizens not to trust such scams, asserting that neither the police nor any public department would call citizens to ask them for money.

The warning follows a case over the weekend involving a female casino worker aged around 40, who reportedly received a phone call from the immigration department.

The caller claimed to be involved in a problem regarding safe conduct for a third party and asked the woman to buy a new mobile phone to avoid surveillance, instructing her to contact some numbers which were allegedly those of mainland authorities.

The woman obeyed the caller and transferred  RMB312,900 into a mainland bank account. After transferring the money, she suspected fraud and immediately registered a complaint with the PJ.

In another case, a 41-year-old local resident was accused of simulating a crime. He sent his wife a text message, saying that he had borrowed money from a loan shark for gambling but had lost it all. He said he had been kidnapped and that he would be held hostage in a hotel room until his wife transferred the kidnappers HKD90,000.

His wife did not have enough money on hand and only managed to transfer HKD 8,000. Out of fear that the kidnappers would harm the man, she sought help from the police.

In a joint police operation on March 19, a Public Security Police Force (PSP) officer found the man and delivered him to the PJ for further investigation.

When questioned, he revealed that the loan and kidnapping were both false, and that it had all been part of a scam to steal money from his wife so that he could gamble.

The PJ also revealed that they had captured one of the two suspects involved in a high-profile fraud case last November.

The two suspects had allegedly swindled a victim out of HKD30 million to be traded for gaming chips, before vanishing without a trace. They were later identified in CCTV footage from a local hotel.

One of the suspects was caught while entering the territory on March 19. The other suspect remains at large, as does the money.

Woman steals friend’s diamond ring to fill ‘piggy bank’

A 20-year-old woman from mainland China was accused of stealing a diamond ring from her friend while on a trip to Macau. The incident – which the Judiciary Police reported on March 17 – occurred when the victim, also a woman from the mainland, visited Macau in the company of four friends. After checking into a Cotai hotel, the victim, who was sharing her room with two of her friends, removed her ring when she went to shower, leaving it by the sink. The next day, she realized the ring was missing and filed a complaint with the police. When the case was investigated, the culprit admitted to stealing her friend’s ring and pawning it for HKD50,000, which she then transferred to her savings account in the mainland via a shop in Taipa. She was sent to the Public Prosecutions Office and accused of theft.

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