Twenty-six people were arrested by Hong Kong police on Wednesday for allegedly participating in gold investment scams involving HK$19 million (US$2.42 million).
At around noon, the police Commercial Crime Bureau (CCB) raided the offices of Glory Sky Group and Noble Holdings Group, located in North Point and Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island, in an operation code-named “Splitflash”, HK01.com reported.
Seven women and 19 men were arrested for conspiracy to defraud. They include an 18-year-old female financial adviser and a 53-year-old senior executive from Glory Sky Group surnamed Yang.
The CCB was accompanied by the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau, the Narcotics Bureau, and the Police Tactical Unit (PTU). Amongst equipment carried on the raids, the PTU had explosive tools.
At least 33 victims lost a combined HK$19 million after they were persuaded to invest in “London” gold by the “lovers” they met on WeChat, Apple Daily reported.
It was reported that the two companies recruited good-looking men and women, who found their victims on social media and lured them into investing in gold. Disguised as investment managers or financial advisers, the scammers generated commission from the large number of unnecessary transactions put through the victims’ accounts.
The police said that Operation Splitflash had successfully dismantled a criminal gang.
Between January and May this year, police received reports of three cases of alleged London gold fraud, involving a total of HK$59 million. The police encouraged members of the public who suspect they may be victims of such criminal activity to call the hotline number: 2860 5012.