It has been reported that parties claiming to represent Chinese government or media try to extort ‘donations’. HONG KONG Shipowners Association today urged members to exercise caution when dealing with individuals purporting to represent the Chinese government or mainland media but whose real aim is fraud.
Hong Kong Shipowners Association managing director Arthur Bowring was quoted as saying that a number of members had reported such incidents.
“The individuals then ask if they can interview our members for various topical stories.
“We have checked the backgrounds of some of these individuals and found that their representations are fraudulent, and possibly made in an attempt to extort money as so-called ‘donations’ for various causes.”
In addition to the general warning, HKSOA cited an example of an individual who allegedly had contacted HKSOA members under fraudulent credentials claiming to represent the Economic Department of the Central Government Liaison Office in Hong Kong. In a second example a person claimed to be a correspondent for China Business Newspaper. HKSOA said the individual had approached members ostensibly to discuss China’s 12th five-year plan and its impact on Hong Kong.
The Liaison Office had confirmed to HKSOA the individual was not on its staff and was not authorised to represent the government department. Mr Bowring later quoted that the Liaison Office, which is the main representative body of the Beijing government in Hong Kong managed to reach the individual concerned and had given him warning to stop his activities.
As for the second example it should be noted that China Business News does not have an office in Hong Kong. Anybody misrepresenting themselves as reporters for the publication would be liable for future legal action, Mr Bowring said without specifying the source of the comment.
The UK Club would advise Members to be on guard against similar activity and to properly ascertain the identity of persons they are in contact with especially if they are previously unknown and are dealing with matters of finance.