Mahjong scammers arrested with chipset tiles

November 29, 2016 12:30
Police examine electronic tiles at a mahjong parlor in Yau Ma Tei. The suspects sneaked into the shop after midnight to set up the electronic contraption. Photos: Google Maps, HKEJ

Three women and a man have been arrested from a Yau Ma Tei mahjong parlor after they tried to use chip-embedded tiles.

One of the women is a cleaning lady in the venue, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The woman, who is said to be heavily in debt, planned the scam with three partners from mainland China to set up tiles with electronic microchips in two of the tables.

They were caught when a surveillance camera showed them acting suspiciously.

Police said the chip-embedded tiles came with sensors and remote control units and were worth about HK$60,000 (US$7,735).

One of the suspects, a 41-year-old mainland woman surnamed Liang, is said to have lost several thousand dollars recently in the mahjong parlor, according to Apple Daily.

Liang got a 26-year-old mainland electronics technician to set up the contraption. 

The suspects sneaked into the shop after midnight on Monday and picked a table, with a wager of HK$200 and HK$400 per game, and replaced the original tiles with two electronic sets.

The shop owner, surnamed Chan, later called the police.

Investigators said the electronic chips would enable scammers to gather winning combinations of mahjong tiles whenever they want.

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