Fraudsters target Chinese businesses in Otago

WILMA MCCORKINDALE
Last updated 15:48 29/01/2014

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Police suspect a fraud ring is targeting Chinese-run businesses in the Otago region.

At least two have fallen victim to the scheme, Detective Neville Aiken said.

Police today issued a warning to others to be wary of the group of offenders, believed to be of Chinese descent and aged between 40 and 75 years.

They appeared to be targeting the Chinese business community across Otago, active during 2012 and last year and using a number of methods to conduct fraud, Detective Aiken said.

"One of their modus operandi is to approach the owners of takeaway shops with a business proposition. The victims are then drawn into further contact with the fraudsters.

"At least two business owners have lost thousands of dollars as a result of getting involved."

Police don't believe the group is local but lives elsewhere in New Zealand or overseas, Detective Aiken said.

Officers were working with the Chinese community to warn local business owners of the scam.

"We are keen to warn business owners about the activities of this group but also would like to hear from any other business owners who might have been approached by people offering similar deals."  

Anyone with information should contact Detective Neville Aiken on 03 471 4800. Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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- Fairfax Media

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