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Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

Twenty-two arrested over low-interest rates loan scams

Twenty-two people were on Thursday and Friday arrested for conspiracy to defraud and money laundering for cheating over HK$1.9 million from seven people after claiming to offer loans at low interest rates.
The 17 men and five women, aged 19 to 38, are now remanded in police custody. Officers seized over 10 computers, 60 smartphones, about HK$1.2 million in cash, and some documents during the operation.

The crime came to the police’s attention after four men and three women filed reports to police between September and December last year.

Police investigation showed the fraudsters pretended to be staffers of local finance companies and cold-called the victims, claiming they could offer loans at low interest rates.

As the seven fell victims to the scam, the fraudsters would then ask them to transfer so-called “sureties,” ranging between HK$30,000 and HK$1.36 million, to designated bank accounts to increase the chances of the loan applications.

The fraudsters then disappeared after receiving the sums, and the victims saw their loan applications “denied.”

Police said the syndicate was active for over six months but believed they had smashed it for good. However, officers added some members have a triad society background, and they will continue to investigate if any finance company may benefit from the scam.

More arrests may be made, police noted as they reminded the public to contact licensed finance companies or banks if they ever need to apply for a loan.
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