A supermarket cashier who conned an older woman into handing over MOP 10,000 after she forgot to pay for a MOP 19.80 can of food has been arrested and is facing charges of extortion.
Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Chan Wun Man said the manager of the supermarket in Avenida do Almirante Lacerda was also arrested.
Chan identified the cashier as a 37-year-old male non-resident worker from the mainland surnamed Ouyang, and the manager as a 57-year-old local man surnamed Lao.
Chan said the woman, who is in her 70s, shopped in the supermarket on Wednesday last week. After she had paid for her purchases at the checkout, Ouyang discovered that she had forgotten to pay for the can priced at MOP 19.80 and confronted her.
The woman told Ouyang that she could pay MOP 100 as compensation. However, the cashier refused, and told her that she needed to pay MOP 20,000 to settle the matter as otherwise he would report her to the police for “shoplifting”, Chan said.
After negotiating, the cashier agreed that the woman could pay “just” MOP 10,000. However, the woman was not carrying enough cash so she left her ring and necklace as “collateral” before going to an ATM to withdraw MOP 10,000.
The woman withdrew the money from an ATM and returned to the supermarket to pay Ouyang, after which she was allowed to take her ring and necklace and leave.
After the woman returned home, she told her family about the incident. The family concluded that it was “unreasonable” for the cashier to request MOP 10,000 for such an incident, and decided to report the case to the police.
PJ officers went to the supermarket last Thursday to question Ouyang and Lao. The officers found the MOP 10,000 paid by the woman in a safe at the supermarket, Chan said.
Under questioning, Ouyang told the PJ officers that Lao had authorised him to handle shoplifting cases himself. Concerning the older woman’s case, Ouyang admitted that he told her to pay MOP 10,000 in exchange for him not reporting her “shoplifting” to the police.
Chan said the PJ officers concluded that it was “obviously unreasonable” for Ouyang to charge the woman MOP 10,000 as “compensation” as it was 500 times the price of the can.
Both suspects face extortion charges, and have been transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office for further questioning and investigation.
According to the Macao Penal Code, extortion is punishable by a prison term of between two and eight years, The Macau Post Daily reported.