Many gambling proponents, both individuals, and companies consider gambling to be a fun activity if done responsibly, but that wasn’t the case for the 20-year-old Terry Tong Hong Zhi from Singapore, who lost S$40,000 ($30,000) worth of loans while gambling online and was caught by the police while trying to obtain the money back in an illegal way.
Hong Zhi Was Actually Thorough in Hiding His Illegalities
Hong Zhi had a $30,000 debt but found a way to get ahold of cash without having banks in the puzzle. He started posing himself as a high-end watch seller and as the Singaporean media outlet Today states, he created listings on a local online store called Caroussel.
He used an image of a Chinese man on his profile, researched different watch models and their prices, and used an untraceable phone with an unregistered SIM card. Finding his mark took some time, but after some time, he found a victim to whom he sold a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A.
The watch was listed at a price of $209,534 on an online watch site called WatchCentre, but Hong Zhi offered it to the victim for $84,502. They agreed to meet and exchange cash for the watch and when they did, Hong Zhi pulled out a knife, but the victim fought back.
The victim ended up with a slash on his face and Hong Zhi escaped, but without the money. Even though he changed clothes and made sure that he was escaping via areas that did not have any camera surveillance, police found him 2 days later.
Luck Followed Hong Zhi in Court as He Is Not 21 Yet
Hong Zhi’s victim was lucky as he spent just two days in a hospital, but so was Hong Zhi. Even though the judge could’ve given him a strict jail sentence and even cane lashes, he ended up with reformative training.
That means that he will undergo a rehabilitation program for 12 months. The reformative training ruling was given by the judge because of his age. This is the most common sentence for people who commit a crime, but are under 21. Luckily for Hong Zhi, the turns 21 next week.
Using fraud to come up with money is not something new. A couple of months ago, Trenna Denise Trice from Columbus Ohio, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. The ex-teacher conducted multiple fraudulent transactions and embezzled $240,000 to fuel her online gambling addiction.
A statement by the Department of Justice Middle District of Georgia revealed that Trice stole $162,044 from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), $70,231 from a dental office, $7,784 from SAMAC, and $200 from the Georgia Dental Society.
In the US, a Global Digital Fraud Trends Report concluded that the industry was heavily targeted in 2021. Digital gambling frauds rose by 29.4% between 2019 and 2021 and 19.2% between 2020 and 2021. Shai Cohen, the SVP of TransUnion Global Fraud Solutions, stated that fraudsters are motivated by whatever players need at a certain point.