Mainland criminals are trained to commit fraud before coming to Hong Kong to work for local gangs, police said after arresting eight tourists in Fanling yesterday. Gang members are offered two-way permits and enter Hong Kong with travel groups, according to New Territories South regional crime unit Superintendent Ting Kwok-hung. 'Once in Hong Kong, they stay in flats or guesthouses and are offered transport if necessary,' he said. Mr Ting said most of the criminals come from five counties in the northwest and southwest of Guangdong: Yangjiang, Wuhua, Dianbai, Meiyuan and Maoming. The mainland's Public Security Bureau had been told of the trend, he added. Officers yesterday arrested three men and five women, aged between 22 and 41, for allegedly cheating an elderly woman out of $8,000. Police said the gang had tried to sell the woman a fake jade bracelet as a cure for diabetes, rheumatism and arthritis. Three bracelets were seized. The eight were among a mainland tour group that arrived from Dianbai on July 30 on a two-week visit. Senior Inspector Chiu Sau-mee said the group had been recruited by a local syndicate led by a new immigrant from the mainland. Last night police were hunting for the ringleader and up to three key figures. Ms Chiu said the gang members were highly organised. 'When they are recruited in China, they are taught tactics, what roles they play and what to say,' she said. 'They are also provided with materials - like fake pills and fake hi-tech equipment - required for con tricks.' There were 353 street-level deception cases in the first six months of this year, involving $21 million.