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Phone scams surge 476 pct, blackmail up 186 pct in Jan-June

The number of reported phone scams surged by 476 percent year-on-year in the first half of this year, from 25 to 144, while the number of reported extortion cases rose by 185.7 percent, from 21 to 60, of which 39 were those blackmailed for chatting naked online. Secretary for Security Cheong Kuoc Va detailed crime […]

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:48 am

The number of reported phone scams surged by 476 percent year-on-year in the first half of this year, from 25 to 144, while the number of reported extortion cases rose by 185.7 percent, from 21 to 60, of which 39 were those blackmailed for chatting naked online.

Secretary for Security Cheong Kuoc Va detailed crime statistics for the first six months of the year in a press conference at the Sao Francisco Barracks Tuesday. Macau Public Security Forces Co-ordination Office Director Cheang Seng Chio and Cheong’s advisor Sam Chong Nin were also present.

According to Cheong, a total of 7,090 crimes were reported during the first half of the year, a rise of 6.1 percent from a year earlier.

Cheong said that the increase in the overall crime figures was partially due to a rise in scam cases. Reported cases of all kinds of scams rose from 394 in the first half of last year to 600 in the same period of this year, a 52.3 percent increase. Reported cases of phone scams surged to 144 in the first six months of this year from 25 in the same period last year, a 476 percent increase, while reported Internet scams rose by 51.1 percent, from 139 to 210, Cheong said.

Cheong said earliers this year that there were 108 reported cases of phone scams for the whole of last year.

According to Cheong, the number of reported extortion cases increased by 185.7 percent, from 21 in the first half of last year to 60 in the same period of this year, of which 39 were online naked chat blackmail cases.

There were 67 reported extortion cases for the whole of last year, according to Cheong when presenting last year’s crime statistics earlier this year.

Sam said that the police did not record cases of online naked chat blackmail among the extortion cases for the first half of last year so that there was no comparison between the two periods, as this kind of case was not so common before the latter part of last year.

Cheong said that the police would continue to advise residents to be wary of chatting naked online. He said local police would exchange information with other jurisdictions on the matter.

According to Sam, there were no murders or kidnappings reported during the first six months of the year.

Cheong said that reported cases of drug use dropped from 168 in the first half of last year to 86 in the same period of this year, a 48.8 percent decrease.

According to Cheong, there were more mainland visitors who overstayed their permits in the first half of this year (22,335) than in the same period last year (19,166).

Meanwhile, when asked by reporters if he would continue in his post for the next five year term, Cheong replied that he was focused on doing his best in his current position and that he was always willing to contribute to society regardless of whether it is in his current position or another one [in future].

Cheong, a career police officer, has been in his post since the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) on December 20, 1999. Under Cheong’s watch, gangland violence – which hit Macau hard in the 1990s – has almost vanished since the 1999 change in administration. The number of murder cases has also gone down dramatically. (macaunews/macaupost)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:48 am

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