Hong Kong police arrest 13 individuals in crackdown on unlawful debt assortment gangs accused of splashing pink paint, intimidation – Go Well being Professional

Hong Kong police have arrested 13 individuals in a five-day crackdown on unlawful debt assortment gangs accused of splashing pink paint on buildings and making threatening cellphone calls over excellent mortgage funds.

Performing Chief Inspector Ng Ping-sum of the Wong Tai Sin district crime squad stated on Tuesday the 12 males and one girl, detained in a collection of raids between Monday and Friday final week, have been linked to 19 instances of debt-related prison injury and intimidation involving HK$3.7 million (US$473,000) in loans.

He stated the teams operated in Wong Tai Sin and Sai Kung, utilizing strong-arm techniques akin to splashing pink paint on buildings, damaging door locks and making intimidating cellphone calls.

“Ten of them have been house owners of registered SIM playing cards and the remaining three have been accused of being concerned within the distribution of debt assortment slips,” Ng stated.

He stated the investigation prompt criminals paid SIM card holders between a whole lot of {dollars} and HK$1,000 every, utilizing the objects to make the calls to debtors.

Ng stated the investigation revealed among the suspects have been additionally linked to instances of debt-related prison injury and intimidation that happened in different districts.

Police launched the five-day operation, code-named “DefeatEnemy”, after noticing a 30 per cent rise within the variety of debt-related prison injury and intimidation instances in Wong Tai Sin and Sai Kung within the first two months of the yr.

The 13 suspects, aged from 19 to 61, have been detained on suspicion of prison injury and intimidation – offences punishable by as much as 10 years in jail.

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The arrested included transport employees, waiters and people with out employment.

The suspects have been launched on bail pending additional investigation, in response to police.

The performing chief inspector stated the investigation into these behind the gangs was nonetheless underneath manner and additional arrests have been doable.

Inspector Lam Kin-yu of the Wong Tai Sin district intelligence unit stated police found criminals misused some debtors’ private info to register SIM playing cards and make intimidating calls to different victims, or arrange digital financial institution accounts that have been used to launder crime proceeds.

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He urged these in want of economic help to hunt loans from licensed and respected monetary corporations and take note of the phrases and circumstances of the contracts.

Lam stated residents ought to by no means lend, hire or promote their financial institution accounts to others for dealing with funds of unknown origin, as it would represent a money-laundering offence punishable by as much as 14 years in jail and a HK$5 million nice.

Final yr, police dealt with 1,505 experiences of prison intimidation throughout the town, a ten.6 per cent improve from 1,361 instances logged in 2022. Stories of prison injury rose by 2.4 per cent to five,298 in 2023 from 5,172 the yr earlier than.

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