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Crime

Bungling robber flees empty-handed from Hong Kong 7-Eleven after staff ignore bomb threat and his demand they put HK$15,000 into WeChat Pay account

  • Suspect asked for HK$5,000 more than maximum daily limit for WeChat service, but ran away when female employee raised alarm
  • Police seeking Cantonese speaker with mainland accent, who struck at Cheung Sha Wan store around 9.30am
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2018, 4:02pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2018, 9:15am

A bungling criminal fled a Hong Kong 7-Eleven empty-handed on Tuesday after trying to force staff to transfer HK$15,000 into a WeChat Pay account – HK$5,000 more than the maximum daily limit.

Police were hunting the would-be robber, who claimed he had a bomb but ran away after a female employee at the store in Cheung Sha Wan ignored him and raised the alarm instead.

The incident, which police believe could be the first time someone has attempted to demand money via electronic transfer in a shop, happened in the convenience store on Po On Road at about 9.30am.

A police spokesman said the man, who was wearing a face mask and spoke Cantonese with a mainland Chinese accent, had asked the 33-year-old employee to transfer the cash, but ran off when she pressed an alarm button.

Officers searched the area, but there was no sign of the man, who was wearing a light-coloured shirt at the time of the incident.

Police continued to check surveillance camera footage inside the shop to gather evidence.

Figures show police handled 82 reports of robbery in the first six months of this year, compared with 90 in the same period last year.

WeChat Pay HK said the company opposed any attempt at conducting illegal activities using its platform and would actively cooperate with the investigation if necessary.

“The daily and monthly top-up limit for users without a payment password set up is HK$500, while [those] for users with a payment password set up are HK$10,000 and HK$50,000 respectively,” the company said.