Police arrest 25 Hongkongers for involvement in HK$11 million loan scam ring

Syndicate members posed as financial intermediaries, helping victims borrow money which they then pocketed

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 November, 2016, 9:27am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 November, 2016, 9:39am

Twenty-five suspects have been arrested for allegedly conning more than 20 people out of HK$11 million by posing as financial intermediaries.

Those 18 men and seven women, all Hongkongers aged 20 to 60, were nabbed when the Commercial Crime Bureau raided more than 30 locations on Wednesday, including offices, residences, mini-storages and bank deposit boxes.

Two of the suspects are believed to be the ring leaders.

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Investigators recovered about HK$5 million in cash and assets including cars and jewellery during the raids.

The syndicate targeted people who were in financial difficulties and had bad credit records that prevented them from borrowing from banks.

The victims’ personal data and credit records were collected illegally before the scammers called them posing as financial intermediaries and claiming they could help secure low-interest loans from banks and finance firms.

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When a loan application went through, the scammers would charge a high percentage of the sum as a service charge and pocket the loan, claiming that the money would be put in the applicants’ bank accounts in instalments.

The scammers disappeared soon after.

In the most serious case, the victim sustained a loss of HK$4.6 million.

Police said the scammers had a clear division of labour, with tasks including making cold calls, forging documents and interviewing applicants.