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Monday, May 10, 2021

Hong Kong sex gang used fake prostitutes to blackmail victims, including one businessman who paid them HK$150,000 to stay quiet

Online scam saw gang of eight rob victims at knifepoint and then threaten to tell their families if they didn’t pay up. Police believe there are more men who are too ashamed to come forward
A gang of thieves who posed as prostitutes online to lure men so they could rob and blackmail them have been arrested in a series of raids across Hong Kong, police said on Friday.

Three Hongkongers, including a businessman, fell victim to the gang when they were tricked into meeting women for “compensated dating” at a hotel or guest house in Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Sham Shui Po between March and July.

One of the victims lost HK$150,000 (US$19,300) after he was forced to reveal personal information at knifepoint and was later blackmailed, according to police.

“The culprits threatened to tell his family he had sought sex services,” a police source said.

The victim’s case came to light after officers arrested eight people – five men and three women – between Monday and Thursday.

Compensated dating is a disguised form of prostitution in which male clients pay for companionship and often sex. The women usually claim they are white-collar workers or students working as part-time sex workers.

According to police, the gang had preyed on men since March using dating websites or apps to find their victims.

“They claimed they were saleswomen or beauticians and worked as part-time compensated dating girls to earn pocket money,” the source said.

Each customer was charged up to HK$3,000 for sex.

After meeting in a hotel or a guest house, the woman invented an excuse to open the door and then her accomplices rushed into the room and threatened the victim with a knife.

The victim was robbed of several thousand dollars at the scene and was allowed to leave after being forced to reveal his personal information and bank details, while the gang took photographs of the man.

According to police, two of the victims did not report their incidents, and the gang were only discovered after the third victim reported it last week.

Another police source said he believed there were other victims who might feel ashamed and had not come forward.

“It is possible they did not come forward because they did not want to let their families know they were blackmailed while seeking sex services,” he said.

Police urged them or others with information to contact officers on 3661 9251.

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