A Nigerian man was arrested after police found a fake HK$1,000 (US$129) banknote on him in the room of a prostitute in Yau Ma Tei, Sing Tao Daily reported Wednesday.
The suspect speaks fluent Putonghua and is a frequent customer of sex workers in the neighborhood.
He allegedly paid women from the mainland for sex with fake Hong Kong banknotes on four occasions.
The victims of his scam had not reported it to the police but circulated the news within the community to alert their colleagues.
At 2 a.m. Tuesday, the African visited a prostitute, who immediately recognized him from the description given by other sex workers.
She secretly asked her friends to call the police and succeeded in delaying him until a patrol that happened to be nearby arrived.
Police arrested the 43-year-old man and found the fake HK$1,000 note in his wallet.
A representative of Zi Teng, a non-governmental organization that helps sex workers, said it has received complaints from sex workers about fake banknotes being palmed off on them.
Zi Teng regularly provides information to sex workers on how to spot fake banknotes and suggests that they do not accept foreign currency, to avoid being cheated, the representative said.
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