Three currency exchange gang members from the mainland were arrested on Sunday for attacking and robbing a scammer, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Choi Ian Fai said at a special press conference on Monday.
The three mainland suspects involved in the robbery case are a 29-year-old man surnamed Hu from Henan, a 28-year-old man surnamed Shang from Hebei, and a 22-year-old man also from Henan. The trio are suspected members of a currency exchange gang, Choi said. The scammer, who allegedly defrauded the gang, is a 39-year-old mainland man surnamed Zhao.
According to Choi, the security department of a casino in Cotai reported to the Judiciary Police at about 2 am on Saturday that a mainlander surnamed Zhao told them that he had been attacked and robbed by some people in the toilets of the casino. Zhao told the police that he had met several strangers who asked him about currency exchange matters when he was in the toilets. They ended up quarrelling with him, according to Zhao, and then beat him and robbed his watch, smartphone, several bank cards and a few thousand Hong Kong dollars in cash.
Attackers remove victim’s clothes
Zhao said the robbers forcibly removed all his clothes and took pictures of him, threatening him to tell them his ATM password. Choi did not say whether he told the suspects his ATM password. After the trio had left the toilets, Zhao asked the security guards to report the case to the police.
According to Choi, Hu and Shang were intercepted by the casino security later that day. Thanks to CCTV footage, PJ officers arrested Yuan at a hotel in Cotai in the morning on the next day. Under questioning, the trio admitted to robbing and attacking Zhao. However, they told the police that the cause of the incident was that Zhao defrauded them out of HK$50,000 in a currency exchange deal in the toilets. They alleged that Zhao refused to pay them after Hu had transferred 42,750 yuan to Zhao’s bank account. They told the police that Zhao came up with the excuse that he had not received the money and that his phone’s signal was poor, which made them so angry that they robbed and beat Zhao.
According to Choi, PJ officers gathered information from the smartphone messages of the suspects and discovered that the cause of the robbery was that Zhao had cheated the currency exchange gang and he was stopped by the trio when he was about to leave the toilets.
Choi said the Judiciary Police are also investigating the alleged fraud case and at the time of the press conference were still looking for three more suspects as well as the whereabouts of the money.
Meanwhile, PJ officers discovered eleven more suspected members of the currency exchange gang in three hotel guestrooms when the officers were looking for Yuan in the hotel. The 11 men have been transferred to the Public Security Police (PSP) for repatriation to the mainland.
The trio were transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) on Monday, facing charges of robbery, coercion, causing bodily harm, intimidation and illegal recording and photographing, while Zhao faces a charge of fraud involving a considerable amount, officially defined as exceeding MOP 150,000, according to Choi.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macao News)
Photo by The Macau Post Daily/Iong Tat Choi