Hong Kong police arrest 32 people for selling their bank accounts to crooks who used them to launder $ 1.2 million

Hong Kong police arrested 32 people for selling their bank accounts to fraudsters who then used them to launder more than HK $ 9 million (US $ 1.2 million) in proceeds of crime.

Twelve domestic helpers were among the five men and 27 women arrested when police staged a cyber-deception operation in the Western District from Sunday to Thursday, Chief Inspector Lo Kin-pong said.

Lo on Friday said investigations showed suspects were paid up to a few thousand dollars for selling their bank accounts to crooks who laundered HK $ 9.1 million from victims in connection with 21 cases involving romance, email and shopping scams.

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Chief Inspector Lo Kin-pong (left). Photo: Facebook

“One account had previously laundered more than 8.5 million Hong Kong dollars in suspected proceeds of crime,” said Lo, of the Western District Investigation Team.

“Some bank accounts involved more than one case of deception. One was even linked to eight cases across the city. “

The biggest victim was a woman who lost HK $ 3 million to a “foreign pilot” whom she met online earlier this year.

Those arrested, aged 19 to 75, included students, employees and the unemployed. None had a triad history. Lo said they were arrested for offenses including obtaining property through deception and theft. They were released on bail. The direction of the police investigation was money laundering.

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Lo called on members of the public not to sell or lend their bank accounts to a third party, on pain of arrest for money laundering, carrying a maximum jail term of 14 years if convicted.

In April, police arrested nine people on suspicion of laundering more than HK $ 900 million from 300 bank accounts in the previous six months, with some of the money defrauded from 55 victims of dating scams. and investment.

Investigations showed that around HK $ 35 million came from 30 investment frauds and 25 romance scams between February 2020 and January of this year. The biggest victim was a piano teacher in her twenties who had HK $ 9 million swindled out of her bank account in 27 transactions for a cryptocurrency ‘mining investment’.

This article Hong Kong police arrest 32 people for selling their bank accounts to crooks who used them to launder US $ 1.2 million first appeared on the South China Morning Post

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