Police raided the office of a fake solicitors’ firm in Central following complaints that it was operated by a syndicate that has victimized at least 13 people who paid around HK$10 million to obtain low-interest mortgage loans, Headline Daily reports.
The victims, aged between 29 and 68, said they had received calls from staff of a loan referral agency in Mong Kok between February and April, offering to provide loans at attractively low interest rates, the newspaper said.
A 65-year-old man and a 68-year-old woman were referred to the fake legal firm and was asked to pay a guarantee of HK$4.2 million, with the cheque made payable to two staffers instead of a company.
In return, they were promised to obtain low-interest loans of HK$2.6 million and HK$1.61 million.
The two called the police after they failed to receive the promised loans and could not get in touch with the legal firm’s representatives.
The police raid on the firm’s office on Connaught Road Central suggested that it was set up as part of the scam.
For example, the office had fake law books and trophies, local broadcaster TVB said.
The fake law books were essentially carton boxes painted in green and red colors to look like authentic legal tomes.
The props could be bought at Taobao.com for 1.9 yuan (30 US cents) each, according to topic.hket.com.
Police suspected the syndicate also operated another fake legal firm with an office on Queen’s Road Central, which was also raided by police earlier this week.
A 52-year-old woman called the police last Friday, claiming she lost HK$854,000 to the fake legal firm.
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