Police have arrested a taxi driver on suspicion that he had defrauded passengers by using counterfeit banknotes when returning change to the customers after rides.
The suspect, a 38-year-old Chinese man, was taken into custody in northern Lantau Island at around 9 pm on Wednesday, news website hk01.com reports.
The police’s Commercial Crime Bureau received reports earlier this month from three people — two male tourists from mainland China and one foreign woman living in the city — about being duped by taxi drivers.
The people claimed they were paid with fake banknotes when they had to receive change after taking taxi rides.
Following an in-depth investigation, police made an arrest late Wednesday. Inspecting the man’s taxi, officers are said to have found twelve fake HK$500 banknotes and seven other fake bills of HK$100 denomination.
The counterfeit bills were seized from a bag put in the trunk of the taxi he was driving, according to the report.
Police then carried out a search at the man’s flat in Tung Chung and found another 153 fake banknotes there.
The seized banknotes were worth HK$83,200 in total. Officers said the paper quality and security features of the seized fake notes were poor compared to the genuine bills.
The taxi driver has been placed under detention, with police suspecting that he may have participated in other scams.
A police inspector pointed out that people found guilty of manufacturing, possessing, controlling or using counterfeit notes could face up to 14 years in jail.
If any person has doubts about the genuineness of banknotes they receive, they are advised to dial the “18222″ hotline to contact the Anti-Deception Coordination Centre for assistance.
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