Eight money managers, brokers held after gold fraud strips investors of HK$6m

Scam leaves victims HK$6m out of pocket and police say more may have been duped

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 June, 2013, 4:14am

Eight men were arrested yesterday in connection with a gold-trading scam in which they allegedly pocketed HK$6 million from five victims.

The suspects, aged 24 to 54, were picked up at their homes or at the Wan Chai investment company where they are all employed as managers and brokers.

Police later searched the firm and confiscated a box of documents and a computer.

The victims received unsolicited calls from the suspects between October 2010 and February this year and were persuaded to invest in the gold market in London, police said.

They were also reported to have signed agreements allowing the suspects to trade on their behalf, only to be told later that their investments had failed and all their money was lost.

Police believe the money was simply stolen. One victim alone lost HK$4.95 million. And officers say there could be more victims.

Brian Pau Siu-ming, chief inspector at the commercial crime bureau, said the victims were unfamiliar with London's gold trade and believed the suspects could help them watch the market.

He said some of the victims, who were all described as middle-aged, had become suspicious after a matter of months, others believed something was wrong only after two years.

"Investors need to think twice before they move, and then move carefully - especially in granting other people the right to deal with their trade accounts," Pau said.