Fake property owners cheat victims of HK$60m
Police have busted a crime syndicate whose members impersonated as owners of idle properties and sell them using fraudulent documents, cheating victims of over HK$60 million.
Twelve people were arrested for conspiracy to defraud, including a barrister. They were busted after they attempted to cheat the Urban Renewal Authority into buying a To Kwa Wan flat listed in its redevelopment project.
Superintendent of Commercial Crime Bureau, Lee Mo-yin, said the arrestees allegedly stole HK$62.7 million by targeting idle properties and selling them using fraudulent documents. She added that one of the properties involved was used to defraud the URA.
“The Urban Renewal Authority has been unable to reach the owner of a To Kwa Wan flat after listing the flat in its redevelopment projects in 2018. It was until September last year that a person who claimed to be the new owner of the flat contacted the Authority over the resumption of the flat,” she said.
The Authority, finding the sale of the flat suspicious, later found out that the flat’s original owner had already passed away in 1999 and thus referred the case to the force for further investigation.
The force later also discovered another seven properties had been used for mortgage loans or had been sold without obtaining permission from the properties’ original owner.
Lee said the syndicate targeted aged buildings and properties that were long idle. It conspired with law firms and financial companies to run its fraud scheme.
The eight men and four women, aged between 30 to 64, were said to have conspired to use fraudulent documents to impersonate as owners of eight idle properties.
The arrestees include a barrister, two solicitors, one legal executive and two staff members of the financial companies, according to a police spokeswoman.
The force added that the culprits utilize their professional knowledge and try to deceive those who purchase the properties.
It was understood that the barrister is Devin Sio Chan-in from DES Chambers.