Date
22 July 2019
Democratic Party's Ramon Yuen (extreme left) and Shum Wan-wa (far right) accompany some of the alleged victims of a crypto-related scam to a police station to file complaints. Photo: HKEJ
Democratic Party's Ramon Yuen (extreme left) and Shum Wan-wa (far right) accompany some of the alleged victims of a crypto-related scam to a police station to file complaints. Photo: HKEJ

Crypto ‘entrepreneur’ accused of duping more than 20 investors

A young man who was arrested last month in relation to a money-throwing stunt in Sham Shui Po has found himself in the news again — this time, for allegedly cheating some people through a crypto-related investment scheme.

Known as “Coin Young Master”, Wong Ching-kit, who reportedly made his fortune from investment in Bitcoin, has been accused of misleading several investors into buying mining machines for a cryptocurrency called “Filecoin”.

At a press conference on Sunday, the Democratic Party said it has received complaints from more than 20 people who claimed that they had been swindled by Wong, who is believed to have set up a company named Coin’s Group last year and taught people to how to trade cryptocurrencies.

The complaints were received since October last year after the party set up a hotline for victims of cryptocurrency investment scams.

Ramon Yuen Hoi-man, deputy spokesman for the Democratic Party’s financial policy panel and a member of Sham Shui Po District Council, told media that the victims, aged between 20 and 49, included professionals in finance and accounting as well students who just graduated and retirees.

The victims alleged that they bought the mining machines for Filecoin, only to find out later that the virtual currency was not yet tradable on the market, RTHK reported.

According to four of the victims, Wong had promised that if the buyers sought a refund before September last year, they could get half of the money they had invested; and if they wait until end of December, they could get a full refund if they wanted.

But so far Wong has declined to offer any refunds, giving various, the four victims said.

According to Yuen, the combined loss for all the victims amounted to about HK$3 million as each of them invested between HK$20,000 and HK$1 million individually.

Describing Wong, who is in his 20s, as a person who totally lacks integrity, Yuen called for action that would see the victims being returned their money as soon as possible.

According to the Democratic Party, it has assisted some of the victims in filing police reports, which are now being followed up on by the Commercial Crime Bureau.

Shum Wan-wa, a member of the party’s central committee, who is also a member of Wong Tai Sin District Council and a lawyer by profession, criticized the government for lacking enough regulations on cryptocurrencies.

Authorities should study amending the Securities and Futures Ordinance as soon as possible so that it covers matters related to virtual currencies and protect investor rights, he said.

Late Sunday night Yuen revealed to media that he received a call shortly before 9 pm, with the person on the side of the phone warning him about possible consequences he may suffer for meddling in the incident.

Yuen said he had informed the police about the telephone call, and that he will not be cowed down by such threats.

Wong, the crypto entrepreneur at the center of the controversy, was detained by police last month on charges of causing disorder in a public place.

The arrest came after someone threw cash from a building in Sham Shui Po on Dec. 15, causing the banknotes to rain down onto a street and setting off a scramble among pedestrians, in an operation believed to have been masterminded by Wong.

The crypto promoter was subsequently released on bail. 

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TL/JC/RC

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