Hong Kong police are hunting a gang of four suspected of stealing HK$5.9 million (US$751,660) from a retired man’s bank account by using the man’s lost ID card.
The 61-year-old retired man told police he lost his identity card and someone had used it and impersonated him and withdrew money from his bank account, the Apple Daily reported.
After launching an investigation, police said money was withdrawn from the man’s bank account over two days and from two bank branches last year, and a gang of four people were believed to be involved.
On June 13, one of the suspects impersonated the account holder and went to a bank on Queen’s Road in Central on Hong Kong Island and withdrew HK$60,000 in cash. After their first successful withdrawal, the gang went to a jewelry shop in Kowloon’s Yau Ma Tei and bought 17 gold bars the following day.
They then went to a nearby bank and transferred HK$5.7 million to the jewelry shop’s bank account and withdrew HK$135,000 in cash from the man’s account. They later picked up the gold bars.
The victim of the scam did not realize he had lost his ID card and money until he went to a bank on June 20. It was understood that staff at the bank had asked the fake customer the purpose of the money transfer and to verify his signature.
Police believe the gang obtained information about the victim through unknown channels, the Sing Tao Daily reported. After a 10-month investigation, on Wednesday police released photos of four suspects and appealed to the public to come forward if they could provide any information on the case.
A similar case happened in 2015 when a woman who lost her ID card later discovered someone had impersonated her and withdrew HK$8 million from three banks.