A local man has been arrested, suspected of cheating at least seven local residents out of over MOP 9 million (US$1.13 million) by reselling a local department store’s cash vouchers from last year, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokeswoman Lei Hon Nei said during a special conference on Wednesday.
The suspect, who was arrested on Tuesday, is a 34-year-old local man surnamed Un, who told police that he’s a businessman.
According to Lei, a cosmetics store owner reported to the police on December 15 last year that he or she had been cheated out of MOP 6 million. Lei did not reveal the gender of the owner.
The victim got to know Un through a friend in July last year. Un claimed that he was able to buy cash vouchers from a large department store at a 25 per cent discount to buy goods or cosmetics for resale. The victim made a number of payments which ranged between 300,000 and 400,000 patacas, totalling MOP 5 million from July to September last year, for which he or she received cash vouchers about 20 days after each payment.
Lei did not identify the department store.
According to Lei, Un told the victim in October that the VIP Day of the department store was approaching and therefore the demand for cash vouchers was very keen. Un claimed he had a business deal of MOP 100 million with the department store and urged the victim to make additional investments which could get a return of 3 per cent and involve the purchase of cash coupons at a 20 per cent discount.
Lei said the victim again made a number of payments in November and December amounting to MOP 6 million to Un but was not able to receive any cash vouchers or return on his or her investment after sending several reminders to Un.
The victim suspected that he or she had been defrauded by Un and reported the case to the police on December 15. Afterwards, two men and four women, all of them local residents, also reported to the police that they had been cheated by Un and his wife surnamed Che.
According to Lei, the seven victims together were cheated out of about MOP 9 million.
The police confirmed with the department store that Un could only buy cash vouchers from them at a 5 per cent discount. The police are investigating whether there are even more victims involved, according to Lei.
Lei said Un went to the Judiciary Police on Tuesday to assist in the investigation of another case.
Under questioning, Un admitted that he had defrauded the seven victims and used the ill-gotten money to pay debts of about RMB 7 million (MOP 7.9 million) as he had incurred a big loss in his “under-the-table” gambling in a casino in Cambodia. Un also confessed that there are other victims of his cash voucher scam.
Un was transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) on Wednesday while his wife has been told to report to the office for further questioning. Un faces charges of fraud involving a considerable amount, officially defined as exceeding 150,000 patacas, according to Lei.