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Hong Kong Police arrested 19 syndicate members pertaining to money laundering operations, involved in handling more than US $40.5M.
The syndicate started its operations in June last year and scammed more than 25 victims. Hong Kong Police stated their biggest single scam involves around US $127K. Police smashed US $40.5M of their money-laundering operation by arresting 19 group members. Various bank accounts were involved in holding the $40.5M amount, but the source of the money is still unknown. The police said the victims lost thousands of dollars because of this syndicate, and the amount disclosed by the investigators is “far exceeding” the expectation.
Chief Inspector Lau Ho-tak said the amount scammed from the known victims is almost US$2M, while the various bank accounts linked to the scammers group handled US $40.5M over the past year. He said, “This number far exceeds what police knew about. We will continue to trace whether the group and its bank accounts were involved with other scamming or illegal activities and may arrest more people.”
Police stated that of 19 criminals, twelve were male, and seven were female, aged between 25 to 42. They were arrested in a two-day crackdown from Wednesday to Thursday. The head of the syndicate was also apprehended, and some of the members have criminal backgrounds. Senior Inspector of the investigation, Tuen Yuk-Hang, disclosed that the syndicate leader planned the setup to register counterfeit investment firms and rent out personal space for the company’s office. Other syndicate members call the victims, posing as investment brokers, and manipulate them with “low-risk, high-reward” schemes. They ask victims to deposit money in the syndicate account to invest in cryptocurrencies or London gold. Some were also asked to create a trading account on the broker’s platform. Tuen said, “In reality, none of these trading platforms were related to London gold and cryptocurrencies. In other words, the scammers never used the victims’ money for any investment activity. The victims always lost money. They never won.” The syndicate suddenly shut down the platform to avoid getting caught and then set up new firms, and the scamming circle continued.
Over 600 people were allegedly the victims of online investment frauds in July. According to police, fraudsters pretending to be experts misled some victims into purchasing stocks they claimed were chosen by Artificial Intelligence (AI) software.
HONG KONG POLICE SEIZES $65 MILLION FROM TRIAD CONTROLLED MONEY LAUNDERING RING