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The Hong Kong police arrest 6 men in connection with crackdown on HK$175 million Fraud Syndicate


  • Five suspects accused of handing over details of 33 bank accounts to syndicate for laundering illegal funds

  • Men alleged to be responsible for laundering HK$28 million of the illicit cash through string of city bank accounts


Hong Kong police have arrested six men after a crackdown on a crime syndicate behind the laundering of HK$175 million (US$22.4 million) of suspected illicit cash in just seven months. Police said five of the six were among the holders of 33 bank accounts that were used by the syndicate to launder illegal funds between May and November 2022.



“An investigation revealed that the six men were paid between hundreds of dollars and HK$1,000 to set up each bank account,” Senior Inspector Ng Kwan-lam of the force’s financial intelligence and investigation bureau said. “But they had to hand over the account details, such as passwords, and bank cards to the syndicate.”


He said the sixth suspect – a 34-year-old man – was an alleged core member of the syndicate, who is accused of using the bank accounts to collect money from the victims of phone and online scams and launder the cash.


The investigation showed that more than HK$28 million of the illegal funds came from three online investment scams and 24 phone frauds, Ng said. He added victims of the 27 scams lost a total of HK$113 million, and HK$28 million of the money was laundered through the bank accounts controlled by the syndicate.


The biggest loser was an 81-year-old retired man who was conned out of HK$15 million in a phone fraud in mid-2022.


Police said the man got a call from someone who claimed to be an officer from a mainland China public security bureau. The victim was accused of involvement in money laundering on the mainland. “The victim was asked to provide his bank account details and password for investigation purposes,” Ng said. The elderly man realised it was a scam when he found HK$15 million had been looted from his bank account in 43 transactions between June and July last year. But police were able to identify those involved in the scam. Officers arrested six local men aged 23 to 36 in a series of raids on Tuesday. Police said the six men were detained on suspicion of money laundering and conspiracy to launder crime proceeds. They were still in custody on Wednesday.


The force said the investigation continued and further arrests were possible. Ng added officers were also investigating the flow and final destinations of the illegal funds. He appealed to the public not to lend or sell their bank accounts to others for handling funds from unknown sources and warned that people who did could be prosecuted for money laundering. Money laundering is punishable by up to 14 years in jail and a HK$5 million fine in Hong Kong. Officers from the Anti-Deception Coordination Centre, responsible for tracking scammed cash, have prevented more than HK$11 billion from reaching the hands of criminals since it was set up about six years ago.


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