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Hong Kong: 43 Suspects Arrested For Defrauding HK$12 Million From Victims Via Online Shopping Scams and Love Frauds

Hong Kong have reportedly detained 43 people, with suspicion of being involved in online shopping frauds and love scam.

 

As a part of the attempts to combat cybercrimes and frauds, Hong Kong has reportedly detained 43 people, with suspicion of being involved in a series of citywide raids during a week-long operation.
 
According to the police force, the arrested suspects between the age of 17 and 75 include waiters, technicians, workers, and unemployed people. During the operation, code-named Skyrocket, police officers seized the suspect’s mobile phones and bank cards.
 
The accused, involving 28 men and 15 women arrested between October 20 to 26, were allegedly deceiving victims of HK$12 million (1.5 million USD) in a total of 37 cases including internet love scams and shopping frauds, the police force reported on Friday.
 
The victims compromised between several hundred Hong Kong to about HK$900,000, says Senior Inspector Thomas Anthony Lo of the Wan Chai district crime squad.
 
The suspects were arrested for acquiring property by deceiving victims, particularly via money laundering. They included bank account holders, who were used to collect and launder crime proceeds.
 
As announced by the force, all the detained suspects were later released on bail, with none of them being charged. Although they are required to report back to the police next month.
 
Money laundering, in Hong Kong, is a punishable offense, involving a maximum sentence of 14 years and a fine of HK$5 million, while obtaining property via fraud carried a maximum sentence of up to 10 years behind the bars.
 
In a similar case, detectives from the Yau Tsim district crime squad detained two men, suspected of being involved in an online shopping scam. Reportedly, the suspects impersonated online buyers, befooling at least 10 victims into selling them valuables worth more than HK$1.5 million, but used cheques that bounced to pay for the goods.
 
The police were introduced to the case after one of the victims, a 41-year-old man reported to them on October 10, it was after he was tricked into falling for the scam and losing a HK$7,000 bracelet.
 
The two suspects aged 34 and 40 were later arrested from their flats in Hong Konk, on Wednesday. Additionally, the police recovered a HK$70,000 handbag from one of the flats, that belonged to one of the victims. While the investigation is still ongoing, more arrests are possible, the police force states.
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