Chou fan claims losing $1.3m in ticket blackmail

Top News | Riley Chan 17 May 2018

A 31-year-old woman purchased three Jay Chou Chieh-lun concert tickets that she said ended up costing her a whopping HK$1.3 million.

The woman, surnamed Chan, said she bought tickets on social media for one of Chou's concerts in March but, after making a bank transfer, she was left puzzled as to why she only received two tickets.

A woman, surnamed Lee, called her and said she obtained the tickets through illegal means, Chan told police

It is understood that Lee subsequently blackmailed Chan into paying HK$1.3 million or risk facing the legal consequences.

Instead of immediately reporting the threat, Chan opted to pay the money into a designated account. But she later realized she had been scammed, and filed a police report on April 13.

Following an investigation, police arrested Lee on Tuesday, after locating her at a bank on Kau Yuk Road, Yuen Long.

A mobile phone and five bank cards were seized on the spot. Officers searched her flat in Wan Chai, confiscating a computer and five bank passbooks.

Lee is under investigation on suspicion of obtaining property by deception and was detained overnight. No charges have yet been laid.

Police said the tickets involved in the incident were authentic and were worth more than a thousand dollars.

However, no evidence has surfaced to prove that the tickets were obtained illegally.

Police said more people may have been duped and additional arrests may follow after their investigation.

Chou's Hong Kong tour was held from March 13 to 25 at the Hong Kong Coliseum, with tickets ranging from HK$480 to HK$1,180 each.

Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung said if people are unaware whether tickets have been obtained illegally, and have no reason to believe so, they will not be held liable.

"As long as you genuinely believe the tickets were obtained legally - say, the tickets of a hot concert that had significantly been marked up - you wouldn't be expected to suspect it," he said.

However, if the tickets were indeed obtained through illegal means, and the purchaser is believed to have known about it, the buyer could face a maximum of 14 years in prison for handling stolen goods.

"If you buy a ticket online at a price even lower than the original price, and say you didn't find it suspicious, you are basically lying to yourself. The court won't trust you either," Luk said.

riley.chan@singtaonewscorp.com

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