Woman arrested over suspected crowdfunding scam

  • Woman arrested over suspected crowdfunding scam

Police said they have arrested a woman on suspicion of misappropriating money raised to help detained anti-government protesters.

In a briefing on Friday, senior inspector Lo Yat-chun alleged that a syndicate had bought designer handbags, electronic products and securities with part of the HK$2.08 million it raised on social media from August 2019 to December 2020.

He said the suspect, 25, who claimed to be a civil servant, was one of the authorised signatories of a personal account that the syndicate transferred funds to, adding that police also found in her account HK$2.5 million from an unknown source.

Lo said she also faces fraud charges as the actual use of the money was different from what was claimed in the crowdfunding campaign.

“We can see the suspect has conducted certain personal securities transactions, and that’s why we can have suspicion on them that those funds collected from different [donors] were not actually for the purpose that they have claimed,” he said.

“They have never claimed that the money collected would be used for securities transactions.”

He said the force had frozen HK$270,000 in the relevant accounts.

Police are looking for two men linked to the syndicate. The pair, aged 20 and 29, fled Hong Kong last August.