A 48-year-old visitor from Taiwan was cheated out of HK$6,500 (US$828) when he purchased five tickets that he was told would entitle him to 25 coupons for highly sought-after mooncakes. The incident took place in Sheung Shui, the New Territories on Wednesday.
The man surnamed Lau said that while he was queuing outside a Maxim’s store at Metropolis Plaza in Sheung Shui at 9am, an elderly woman approached him and sold him five “queue quotas,” news website HK01.com reported.
The woman told Lau that he could redeem the five quota tickets for 25 lava custard mooncake coupons.
However, staff at Maxim’s told Lau that there was no such arrangement. Instead, each “queue quota” ticket only gave him the right to purchase five mooncake coupons. Lau then realized that he had been ripped off and reported the incident to the police.
After an initial investigation, police classed the case as one of obtaining property by deception. They are looking for a woman aged around 70, 1.55 meters tall and at the time wearing a red top, black shorts and a mask.
Maxim’s lava custard mooncakes cost HK$368 per box, but during the promotional period, customers can buy a coupon for HK$228.
Hundreds of people were seen queuing up, some of them as early as 4am, before the Maxim’s stores opened at 7:30am.
After purchasing coupons, many buyers then sold them on to traders for HK$260 each.
Maxim’s lava custard mooncakes are very popular in mainland China. Last year, boxes which cost HK$349 in Hong Kong changed hands across the border in Shenzhen, China, for 418 yuan (about HK$500 or US$63).