2 gamblers cheated out of over 380,000 yuan in ‘practice banknotes’ scam: police

2023-11-21 03:19     BY Yuki Lei    Comment:0

Two mainland men were arrested respectively at a hotel in Cotai and a resort in Taipa on Sunday for cheating two male gamblers out of 199,800 yuan (223,568 patacas) and 188,900 yuan (211,371 patacas) in separate “practice banknotes” scams, involving 400 HK$1,000 practice notes, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Lei Chi Hou said during a special press conference yesterday.

The Judiciary Police were notified by a security guard of the hotel and the Public Security Police (PSP) about the two scams at about 2 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. on Sunday respectively, saying that the two mainland victims, who entered Macau on November 4 and on Saturday, were cheated separately by the 30-year-old suspect surnamed Zhou and the 32-year-old suspect surnamed Guan in a hotel guestroom and in a restaurant earlier that day, according to Lei.

Both victims told the police that after they had gambled away all their Hong Kong dollars, they separately contacted Zhou and Guan via a WeChat group to exchange yuan into Hong Kong dollars so that they could continue to gamble at a casino. The duo added that they received wads of HK$1,000 practice banknotes from Zhou and Guan after they had transferred, respectively, 199,800 yuan and 188,900 yuan to a mainland bank account the details of which Zhou and Guan given to them.

In the two cases, Lei pointed out that Zhou’s victim quickly realised that the “Hong Kong dollars” were just practice banknotes soon after Zhou had handed them to him as they were abnormal in colour, while Guan’s victim confirmed the wad of “Hong Kong dollars” was bogus after Guan handed the notes to him and fled the scene.

Under questioning, Zhou and Guan admitted that they had been promised “commissions” of 20,000 yuan and 1,000 yuan respectively to bring the “Hong Kong dollars” from the mainland to Macau and use them in currency exchange deals with the two victims, according to Lei, who added that Zhou insisted that he had no idea about the practice banknotes, while Guan told the police he was aware that the banknotes were counterfeit.

Both Zhou and Guan were transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) yesterday, facing charges of fraud involving a considerably large amount of money and fraud.

According to Wikipedia, practice banknotes are generally similar in size, shape and colour to genuine ones and are used for training bank tellers, cashiers and staff at currency exchanges.

Usually, fraudsters bundle the “practice banknotes” into a stack, with adhesive tape used to cover the Chinese characters for “practice banknotes” printed on the notes, in order to deceive their victims. 

The two hooded mainlanders suspected of cheating gamblers in “practice banknotes” scams are escorted separately by Judiciary Police (PJ) officers to a PJ vehicle outside the PJ headquarters in Zape yesterday. – Photo combo: Yuki Lei

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