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Hong Kong Police Arrest 30 Suspects In Crackdown On Fraud And Money Laundering

Kwun Tong police

In a concerted effort to combat financial crimes, the Kwun Tong police conducted a two-week operation from July 16 to 29, resulting in the arrest of 21 men and 9 women aged between 19 and 73 on suspicion of money laundering.

The 30 cases involved a range of scams, including shopping scams, online investment scams, and employment scams, causing an estimated HK$4 million (approximately $510,000 USD) in losses to 72 victims, ranging from 15 to 74 years old.

Among the victims, the youngest was a 15-year-old job-seeker who fell prey to an employment scam. In one particularly egregious case, a retiree was swindled out of HK$2 million (around $255,000 USD) in a government official impersonation scam, accounting for half of the total losses.

According to a police spokesperson, the primary objective of the operation was to apprehend the holders of the “stooge accounts” being used to receive or launder the proceeds of these fraudulent activities, thereby disrupting the channels utilized by the scammers.

The majority of the arrested individuals, including both the 21 men and 9 women, were found to be holders of these stooge accounts, with some even admitting to lending their accounts to others for money laundering purposes.

In a stern warning, the police stressed that anyone who lends their bank accounts for money laundering will face criminal liability, regardless of their age.

The authorities also appealed to the public to exercise caution in protecting their personal information, including identity cards, bank documents, and biometric features that could be exploited to open accounts or obtain loans online.

Citizens are encouraged to contact the police anti-scam hotline at 18222 if they encounter any suspicious fraudulent activities.

This crackdown by the Kwun Tong police underscores the ongoing efforts to combat the growing threat of financial crimes in Hong Kong, where scammers continue to devise increasingly sophisticated methods to target unsuspecting victims.