Rosário to take Hong Kong cryptocurrency partner to court for defamation

Frederico dos Santos Rosário (center)

Frederico dos Santos Rosário, who claims to be among the 70 local residents who fell victim to a controversial cryptocurrency investment scheme, has denied that he was involved in defrauding Macau citizens, laying the blame squarely on Hong Kong-based Dennis Lau. He says that he is commencing criminal proceedings against Lau for defamation.
Lau, who is currently under investigation in Hong Kong, had claimed that business partner Rosário and his mother Rita Santos had misled Macau investors by altering investment contracts and promising a higher rate of return from the scheme than that originally agreed on by the partners.
But Rosário denies any wrongdoing. He says that he has enough evidence to clear his name and is in the process of commencing criminal proceedings against Lau for defamation.
“Over the past few days, I have been subject [to] multiple accusations and defamatory statements made by a certain Mr. Dennis Lau to various local and international newspaper and media sources, accusing me of being responsible for defrauding Macau citizens,” he wrote in a press statement released yesterday.
“I am hereby exercising my right to defense against these baseless and calumnious allegations, and to clarify the misinformation that Mr. Dennis Lau has attempted to spread against me, in an obvious attempt to shift attention from the serious accusations which have been brought against him and which are currently under investigation by the proper authorities.”
“I am in possession of the necessary evidence that will fully prove that these allegations against me are false,” wrote Rosário. “In the meantime, considering the damage already done to my name and reputation by Mr. Dennis Lau’s widespread misinformation campaign, I will be submitting a complaint to Macau criminal authorities in order to open criminal proceedings against Mr. Dennis Lau for the crime of defamation, and have engaged legal counsel to pursue my rights to the maximum extent permitted under law.”
Earlier this week, lawmaker José Pereira Coutinho was reported to have been involved in the scheme as a participant. Coutinho, who was said to have invested a total of HKD700,000 in the cryptocurrency mining business, is the head of the Macau Civil Servants Association, where a number of investment seminars were held by the business with the aim of attracting more local participants.
The lawmaker has refused to comment on the matter to the press.
Meanwhile, the Judiciary Police (PJ) says it has already initiated an investigation into virtual currency scams involving Macau residents. So far, the PJ has contacted more than 20 of those who claim to have fallen victim to these scams. They reported losses ranging from tens of thousands to millions of patacas.
Choi Ian Fai, duty supervisor of the PJ, said that the existence of such cases cannot be confirmed solely based on the reports of such self-proclaimed victims. DB

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