A mainlander was arrested on Tuesday in Rua Cidade do Porto in Nape for his alleged involvement in a spectacular online credit-for-sex MOP 13 million scam revealed by the Judiciary Police (PJ) last week, PJ spokesman Cheong Kam Fai said at a special press conference on Wednesday.
The police seized HK$2.4 million (US$310,000) from the suspect, according to Cheong.
The 30-year-old jobless suspect surnamed Chen holds an Exit-Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macao (informally known as “two-way permit”).
According to Cheong, PJ officers are still investigating the scam in which a local man surnamed Ng was cheated by a gang which repeatedly asked the victim to purchase gift cards from convenience stores and buy bitcoins to pay for commercial sex offered by a woman he had met through an online dating app. The scam started in 2017. The male victim finally reported the case to the police last Friday.
PJ officers arrested a local man surnamed Chan and a local woman surnamed Mak last Friday who had received HK$1.15 million in cash from the victim on the previous day at the entrance of a casino in Nape. The duo claimed that the money was to help the victim buy more bitcoins for the woman – who he never met in the flesh.
Thanks to CCTV footage near the casino, PJ officers identified Chen as the person who had received the HK$1.15 million from the duo and put the area close to the casino under surveillance.
On Tuesday, PJ officers located Chen in Rua Cidade do Porto and detained him on the spot, seizing HK$2.4 million in cash from him.
Under questioning, Chen denied that he had received the HK$1.15 million in cash from Chan and Mak and claimed that the HK$2.4 million the police seized from him was casino winnings.
However, he was unable to tell the police in which casino he had won the money, according to Cheong.
Cheong said PJ officers believe that Chen was a member of the fraud gang, and after receiving the HK$1.15 million from Chan and Mak he added it to other cash, HK$2.4 million in total, with the aim of misleading the police in case he was caught.
Chan was transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) on Wednesday, facing fraud and money laundering charges, according to Cheong.