Date
25 November 2017
Following complaints by several investors, Hong Kong police have taken five people into custody in a suspected fraud related to a bitcoin trading platform. Photos: Bloomberg, Metro Daily
Following complaints by several investors, Hong Kong police have taken five people into custody in a suspected fraud related to a bitcoin trading platform. Photos: Bloomberg, Metro Daily

Five arrested in HK over bitcoin investment scam

Hong Kong authorities on Thursday arrested five people who are suspected to be involved in a bitcoin investment scam, Ming Pao Daily News reported.

The Commercial Crime Bureau of the police took into custody the five suspects, who were aged between 34 and 55, the report said.

Among the five was a middle-aged woman, bearing the surname Tang, who was picked up from a casino ship, it said.

The woman is suspected to be the head of a syndicate that collected money from people for purported bitcoin investment. Evidence retrieved from her house in Lower Wong Tai Sin Estate indicated that the gang is in possession of funds of over HK$21 million, according to the report.

Over 50 people, mostly Hong Kong locals but also including some people from Nepal and mainland China, have reported to the police that they were cheated out of funds worth a total of HK$74 million.

Tang’s company is said have rolled out a bitcoin investment plan at the beginning of last year, claiming customers could make profits by investing in the virtual currency via a “MyCoin” platform.

Investors called the police after they found that the MyCoin platform ceased to operate last December.

Legislator James To said ten more people contacted him for assistance recently, claiming that they had been cheated in the investment scheme. He said he is now trying to help a total of over 40 victims.

To said it is good news that the key figures behind the scam have now been arrested. If the police are able to retrieve the funds, the victims might be able to seek compensation, he said.

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