Two tourists from Indonesia were jailed for three years each by the District Court on Tuesday after they pleaded guilty to six charges of fraud.
Romlan, 41, and Effendi, 32, who arrived Hong Kong on November 30 last year, told six Indonesian domestic workers separately on the streets in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Sham Shui Po between December 1 and 10 last year that they had lost their way.
During their conservations, the duo showed the workers, aged between 20 and 40, some “spiritual” yellow stones and marbles, which they claimed could bring them good luck, good health and even better treatment from their employers, the Oriental Daily reported.
The six victims were convinced to give cash, mobile phones, jewelry or other valuables worth HK$40,000 (US$5,123) in total to the two men in order to perform a ritual, which involved mole removal.
After the scammers got money and valuables from the victims, they asked them to go to buy some soap and needles for the ritual. When the victims returned, the swindlers had left with their valuables.
Police arrested the scammers later as one of the victims was able to recall the location of the scammers’ home, Apple Daily reported.
The defendants asked the judge for leniency. Romlan said he had regrets and felt shameful about swindling compatriots, while Effendi said he had to financially support his family.
In Hong Kong, the maximum penalty for a person convicted of fraud is 14 years in jail.