Elderly woman loses savings in diamond scam

Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Issue 671, Page 3
Word count: 492
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A man who allegedly cheated a 77-year-old local woman out of HK$130,000 in February was apprehended by the Judiciary Police (PJ) yesterday.

The 55 year-old suspect, surnamed Wang, was from Fujian Province in China.

According to PJ spokesman Chau Wai Kuong, the victim was approached by two women and the suspect, who all spoke fluent Hokkien, at about 9am on February 17 at the Iao Hon Park in Macau’s north.

The suspect claimed to the 77-year-old woman that he had 4,000 pieces of black diamonds and by selling each of them to the market, a profit of 20 patacas could be earned.

Chau said the two women told the victim they did not have enough money to buy the diamonds and thus tried to persuade her to contribute with some funding.

The women also called a purported buyer to the park, where he used a lighter to burn one of the diamonds and then said the pieces were authentic.

The purported buyer said to the suspect that he wanted to buy his diamonds, but was stopped by the two women.

The victim finally fell into the trap and took HK$120,000 and 10,000 patacas in cash to the two women to buy the black diamonds.

The 77-year-old was told she could get 20 percent interests by lending out the money.

When the victim got back to the park, the women put her cash into a leather brief case and at the same time said that they had to discuss the transaction with the suspect – the diamonds’ owner.

Thus they told the victim to come back to the park some hours later and gave her back the brief case.

However, Chau said at that time the suspects had already swapped the cash with newspapers and beverage packages.

The victim came to the park as told but did not see the women and the man again. She then opened the bag and found that her money had gone missing.

It wasn’t until yesterday morning that the PJ located the main suspect and arrested him at the Border Gate area.

Chau said the 55-year-old man admitted the allegation, but the cash could not be retrieved.

The PJ urge the public, especially senior residents, to report to police or talk to their families first when encountering suspicious transactions on the streets.

On the other hand, in a separate operation the PJ cracked down on a drug trafficking and consumption case.

Four men from Macau and China’s Hubei aged between 22 and 47 were arrested on Sunday.

The police raided a hotel room in Macau’s central area where the two mainland men and utensils for drug use were found.

Afterwards two local men who allegedly smuggled illicit drugs into Macau were also apprehended.

The PJ seized about 20 grams of drugs including ketamine and “Ice” with an estimated market value of 10,000 patacas during the operation.

Chau said the two Hubei suspects were respectively overstaying and illegal immigrant.

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