A 31-year-old Filipina was arrested and charged with aggravated theft and accused of being involved in a pickpocketing syndicate in three separate cases of theft in October in Macau.
The Filipina was arrested at Macau International Airport on Tuesday when she returned to the city, Today Macao reported. The three cases happened between October 5 and 7 during the China National Day holidays.
Three tourists from mainland China told police that their money was stolen at a bus stop near the border gate, on an escalator in a casino and on a casino shuttle bus.
About 78,000 Macau patacas (US$9,665) in total were lost. After an investigation, police believe the three cases were done by the same pickpocketing syndicate.
Police suspect the syndicate first sent a few people to approach the victim. Then, one of the thieves would pretend he had dropped something on the floor and squatted on the ground, while others stole the wallets from the victims.
Police suspect the Filipina was responsible for blocking the victims’ view. The group then left Macau after the thefts. She denied the accusation. She was sent to the public prosecution office. Officers are hunting for at least six other people.