Overstayer cheats 2 local traders out of 2 million patacas in Maotai scam

2021-05-04 03:13     Comment:0

A man from the mainland was arrested on Friday at the Hengqin-Macau checkpoint for separately cheating a businessman and a businesswoman out of a total of two million patacas in deposits for purported purchases of high priced Maotai, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokeswoman Lei Hon Nei said at a special press conference on Sunday.

The 28-year-old jobless suspect is an overstayer surnamed Lin. He was previously a non-resident worker employed by a trading firm in the Barrier Gate area.

According to Lei, the male and female victim who are both running separate retail shops in the Barrier Gate area reported to the Judiciary Police individually on March 28 that they had been cheated by a man surnamed Lin out of over two million patacas in total for the purchase of Maotai at HK$2,280 per bottle which was lower than the wholesale price.

According to the victims, Lin told them that they needed to pay a 30 percent deposit in advance.

Lei said Lin went to the male victim’s shop to collect the purported deposit on March 9. The victim had ordered 200 boxes each containing 12 bottles of Maotai from Lin for HK$5.47 million, and he paid 1.3 million patacas and HK$300,000 (309,000 patacas) to Lin on that day.

According to Lei, Lin went to the female victim’s shop on March 13 to collect the deposit. The victim had ordered 50 boxes each containing 12 bottles of Maotai for 1.36 million patacas, and she paid HK$400,000 to Lin the same day.

Lei said after Lin received the deposits, he told the two victims that the Maotai would be delivered within 15 days. However, the victims never received the liquor and they were unable to contact Lin.

According to Lei, PJ officers went to the trading firm where Lin worked to investigate. A staff member told the officers that Lin had been absent regularly from work and that from early March they sometimes couldn’t contact him. He was dismissed on March 23 by the person in charge of the shop. Lei said after they had been cheated by Lin the two victims went to the shop where they were told that the liquor’s availability on the market was very limited and that the price of each bottle was HK$2,308.

However, according Lin’s fake sales contracts that he gave the two victims, the shop sold them the bottles for HK$2,280 each.

Lei said the two purported sales contracts issued on the shop’s letterhead paper did not include the shop’s official chop.

Lei said the Judiciary Police discovered that Lin had left Macau on March 25 and re-entered Macau on April 17. He was arrested on Friday when he was about to leave Macau via the Hengqin checkpoint. Lin denied committing the crime. However, PJ officers discovered that Lin had been gambling in local casinos in Zape and Cotai since January and gambled away over HK$4.7 million.

PJ officers believe that there are other possible victims as Lin had defrauded the two victims out of just 2 million patacas. The Judiciary Police urge the public to contact the police as soon as possible if anyone was deceived by Lin.

Lin was transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) on Sunday, facing fraud charges, according to Lei.

The fraud suspect is escorted by the Judiciary Police (PJ) officers from the PJ headquarters to a vehicle on Sunday. Photo: Iong Tat Choi

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