Wellcome shopper jailed for spending $1.2m in fake coupons

Thomas Chan

A pier worker who used fake supermarket coupons to launder HK$1.2 million was jailed for 21 months yesterday.

Using the forged coupons, Chung Chun-kit, 31, bought goods from Wellcome supermarkets and stashed them in a storage space he rented. He then gave the purchases to his employer to sell on the mainland, the court heard.

Police found goods in the storage space. The stash included 331 bottles of wine and brandy and 295 tins of infant formula, together worth HK$180,000, the District Court heard earlier. They also found 3,537 fake coupons.

The court earlier heard the goods Chung had purchased were worth HK$1 million. He also made HK$200,000 from selling fake coupons online.

Judge Johnny Chan Jong-herng said Chung had reason to believe the goods he bought with the fake coupons - and the money he obtained from selling them - were the proceeds of an indictable offence. Chung should have become suspicious when Wellcome and Citibank, which issued the genuine coupons, set a five-coupon-per-purchase limit because they believed fake coupons were in circulation.

These circumstantial factors would have led a reasonable man to doubt the authenticity of the coupons, the judge said.

Chung made his purchases in January and February last year.

According to a background report, Chung showed no remorse for the two money laundering charges, insisting he was a victim, the court heard.

Outside court, police said they were still probing the syndicate behind the scam, which hired people to use the fake coupons.

About 15 people, including Chung, had been arrested so far. The others would not be charged as they had used so few coupons.


This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Wellcome tojail: shopper used HK$1m in fake slips