A 19-year-old man who has been arrested on indecent-assault charges is suspected to have been involved in several crimes in the past, including conning dozens of women whom he met online.
Police believe the young man, who was taken into custody last week in connection with a case involving a 15-year-old girl, may have cheated at least 50 people.
Some of the victims were conned out of money, while others were lured with the aim of seeking sexual favors, a media report suggests.
According to Apple Daily, police stumbled into a wider investigation after they arrested a man who was suspected to have misbehaved with a 15-year-old girl.
The girl alleged that she was subjected to indecent assault while traveling on a bus on Sept. 10.
Three days later, a man was arrested at the airport, thanks to a trap laid by some netizens who were following up on the case.
The suspect was later released on bail.
As police conducted background checks on the man, they learnt that he had a criminal record and was a habitual crook.
The man was involved in theft cases and was also guilty of violating a probation order.
He is believed to have conned several women out of money by pretending to be an airline pilot and making false promises of love. He snared most of his victims online.
Police found two fake pilot ID cards of Singapore Airlines with the man’s photo on them as well as a key to a flat in Century Link, a private housing estate in Tung Chung, when searching a residence.
The head of the household said he came in contact with the man through an online forum, and that the youth claimed to be working for Singapore Airlines and earning as much as HK$90,000 a month.
While staying as a house guest for a while, the visitor is said to have secretly made a copy of the apartment key, which he later used to steal valuables worth around HK$20,000.
After learning of the case involving the 15-year-old girl, some netizens suspected that the suspect may be the same man who had been involved in online chat groups and conning unwary women.
A group of men and women then decided to set a trap to bring him to justice.
They sent an online message to the man asking him to meet up with a woman at the airport on Sept. 13. As the fake pilot showed up, they grabbed him and called the police to come and arrest him.
Police are now conducting an investigation to determine if the man was involved in other unknown criminal activities.
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