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Local man steals Macau zodiac & commemorative banknotes worth over 3 million patacas

2022-01-14 03:59     BY Camy Tam    Comment:0

A former bank staff was arrested on Wednesday at his home in the Avenida do Ouvidor Arriaga neighbourhood for stealing zodiac and commemorative banknotes worth over 3 million patacas between 2016 and last year from a bank where he had worked, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Chong Kam Leong said at a special press conference yesterday.

The 59-year-old suspect surnamed Kuok told the police that he is a retiree.

Another 58-year-old, suspected of being involved in the case, is a retiree surnamed Cheang, who was taken to a police station for questioning yesterday. Chong said that Kuok was the chief cashier while Cheang was the department head of the bank. Both worked in the banking industry for more than 30 years and they were fired by the bank in July last year.

According to Chong, the Judiciary Police received a report from a bank last October that zodiac banknotes worth 2.46 million patacas and 20th Anniversary of Macau’s Return to the Motherland banknotes worth 720,000 patacas stored in the bank’s safe had been replaced by ordinary banknotes. The bank’s staff discovered the replacement when the Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) requested the bank to submit a banknote inventory report.

Chong said that Kuok was the chief person-in-charge of the banknotes safe. The Judiciary Police suspected Kuok input false sales records of the banknotes between 2016 and 2021. PJ officers arrested Kuok on Wednesday at his home in the Avenida do Ouvidor Arriaga neighbourhood and the officers went to Cheang’s home in the same district and took him to a police station for further investigation on the same day.

Under questioning, Kuok refused to cooperate with the police, while Cheang told the police that he fully trusted Kuok’s daily work so he did not count the number of banknotes. The Judiciary Police are continuing their investigation into the case, such as looking for the whereabouts of the stolen banknotes.

Kuok was transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) yesterday, facing charges of aggravated theft, document forgery and computer forgery. 


The hooded suspect is escorted by Judiciary Police (PJ) officers from the PJ headquarters to a PJ vehicle in Zape yesterday. Photo courtesy of TDM


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