Two men, one from Hong Kong and the other from the mainland, were arrested on Tuesday for cheating a mainland woman out of 500,000 yuan (MOP 604,630) in a gambling scam, Judiciary Police (PJ) Lai Chio Hong said at a special press conference on Thursday.
The two suspects are a 47-year-old Hong Kong man surnamed Chan who told the police that he is a businessman, and a 63-year-old jobless mainlander surnamed Lu.
According to Lai, the female victim, who is in her thirties, heads a stone material engineering company in the mainland, reported to the local police on 19 November last year that she had been cheated out of 500,000 yuan in a gambling scam. She told the police that a friend of hers introduced her to five men and women including Chan and Lu in October last year. One of them asked her in mid-November to travel to Macao for leisure as well as business talks.
After having dinner with the group on 14 November and returning to a hotel in Zape where they stayed, one of the quintet suggested playing “show your hand” for fun.
Lai said the victim refused to gamble at the beginning but after being persuaded by the others, she finally agreed to gamble. After several rounds, the victim won tens of thousands of yuan, and she continued playing the card game. In the last round, everyone kept increasing their bets. The victim assumed that she had got “good cards” so she increased her bets too, but ended up losing 500,000 yuan. Afterwards, another person appeared who accompanied her to a pawnshop near the hotel and swiped her credit card to cash HK$500,000 to cover part of her gambling loss.
However, after returning to the mainland, the victim suspected that she had been defrauded and returned to Macao on 19 November to report the case to the police.
According to Lai, PJ officers identified some of the suspects and located Chan and Lu who had re-entered Macao on Tuesday via the Barrier Gate checkpoint and checked into a hotel in Zape. PJ officers arrested the duo in their hotel guestrooms. Both refused to cooperate with the police. The police are continuing their investigation to look for the other suspects and the whereabouts of the loot.
Chan and Lu were transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) on Thursday, facing a fraud charge, involving a considerable amount, officially defined as exceeding MOP 150,000, according to Lai.