Businessman duped of $100,000 over 'dropped' $10

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 12:00am

If someone tells you that you have dropped a banknote, keep a close eye on your valuables when you pick it up.

A mainland businessman learned this lesson the hard way when thieves ran off with his bag containing $100,000 after he bent down to collect a $10 note. He was the second victim in five days of a scam that police say is popular with thieves from the mainland and South America.

The 43-year-old businessman was about to board a ferry for the mainland at the Macau ferry terminal at about 1pm yesterday when the bandits struck.

He told police he had earlier withdrawn $130,000 from the Bank of China in Connaught Road, putting $30,000 in his jacket pocket and the rest in his bag.

He sat down in a fast-food restaurant, putting the bag on the chair, while a friend went to buy lunch. The bag also contained his company's chops.

'Two Chinese men approached the victim telling him he had dropped some money,' a police spokeswoman said. 'When the victim bent to pick up a $10 banknote, the pair snatched his bag and fled on foot.' The victim gave chase but lost them in the shopping arcade.

Police mounted a search but found no trace of the pair.

In the earlier theft, three men believed to be South American stole a briefcase containing #13,000 ($191,182) from a local businessman who was drinking tea in a shop in O'Brien Road, Wan Chai.

'We suspect these thieves usually look for their targets at banks or jewellery shops,' said a police officer.