Police continue to strengthen anti-fraud education: Wong

2023-03-23 03:40     BY Yuki Lei    Comment:1

As phone and online scams have recently been increasing, Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak said yesterday that the Judiciary Police (PJ) have recently launched an “intensive” anti-fraud campaign, such as school campus information-sharing sessions to raise public awareness of crime prevention, while always urging the public to beware of scams all the time.

Wong also said that the police would continue to work with civic associations and the banking sector to strengthen anti-fraud and crime prevention education and anti-crime information sharing with the community through liaison work.

The Judiciary Police launched 73 investigations into online scams between January and last month, a number similar to the same period last year, a PJ senior officer noted yesterday when addressing a phone-in programme hosted by public broadcaster TDM’s Chinese-language radio station, Ou Mun Tin Toi, adding that the Judiciary Police logged 39 phone scam cases during that period, a four-time increase compared with the same period last year.

According to Wong, the Judiciary Police have been improving their anti-fraud and anti-crime measures, aiming to make relevant information “easier to understand” for the general public and, thereby, raising their awareness of scam prevention. However, Wong pointed out, there are still difficulties in trying to get civil society as a whole to pay more attention to fraud and crime prevention issues.

Wong made the remarks after a graduation ceremony at the Macau Security Forces Academy in Coloane.

Wong said that some residents still stick to the mentality that “let things drift if they do not affect one personally,” i.e., anti-fraud prevention is none of their business. Therefore, Wong added, most of them do not pay close attention to, nor do they remember relevant anti-fraud and crime prevention information shared by the government, nor do they share messages with their families on how to stay vigilant against scams and, consequently, lack awareness of network security.

Regarding a number of mainland students in Macau and local senior citizens having fallen for phone scams, Wong pointed out that the students concerned did not understand the information shared by the government, nor did they think that such scams would impact them, so they did not pay any attention to them. Wong also said that all this has convinced the police that it is “very important” from them to take action in close cooperation with school campus so that they can “effectively disseminate” anti-fraud and anti-crime information to every student and raise their awareness.

Wong urged young local people to communicate more with their elders so as to instil anti-fraud and anti-crime messages among them.

Police continue to crack down on people smuggling

When reporters asked him about public security risks such as people smuggling via Dr Sun Yat-sen Municipal Park, which is now open 24/7, Wong said that the risk of people smuggling through Macau’s land and sea borders was relatively high, stressing that both the Macau Customs Service and Public Security Police have been keeping a close eye on issues such as people smuggling, while strengthening their patrols and surveillance work in high-risk coastal waters or land areas to reassure the public that they are “doing their best to crack down on people smuggling”. Wong said he hoped that members of the public can report to the police if they come across any suspicious “clues” or persons involved in people smuggling.

Commenting on a recent homicide caused by a dispute between a prostitute and her client, Wong said that it was “not possible” to conclude that Macau’s public security has deteriorated just because of one murder case, adding that as civil society returns to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when the number of tourists is increasing, there would be more disputes.

Govt confident in Ka Ho hazardous warehousing’s judicial proceedings

Meanwhile, judicial proceedings regarding a plot of land in Coloane’s Ka Ho hamlet to be used for a permanent warehouse for hazardous materials have been started but the facilities have not yet been built, Wong said, adding that the government is confident about the project’s legality. Wong insisted that the government has no right to interfere with the court proceedings.

The government in 2020 decided to build a permanent warehouse for hazardous materials in a relatively remote location in Ka Ho, where the local Desafio Jovem (“Teen Challenge”) – a drug addiction treatment centre – is located.

According to Wong, Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosário and his staff are working hard to complete the relevant judicial proceedings as soon as possible. Wong pointed out that from the police forces’ point of view, it would be “nice” to have a backup plan, but it was unlikely to be possible to find an alternative place for the permanent hazardous material warehouse.

Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak (front), accompanied by three senior law enforcement officials, speaks to reporters on the sidelines of yesterday’s graduation ceremony at the Macau Security Forces Academy in Coloane Village. – Photo: Yuki Lei

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