By Patrick Daltrey

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Scammers of the world are uniting as the world prepares for everything from a Brexit to an Exit, and, more and more, Hong Kong is looking like The School For Scoundrels.

After being turfed out of his last gig by the investors in “his” restaurants, who suddenly had a Eureka Moment and saw Fool’s Gold, the notoriously self-promoting Michelin award winning chef is back singing Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag- and gig and investor, this one, apparently from Vietnam, and entering, for her, virgin territory. This is how and where Chef Goldfinger does his best work. He’s an extremely good flim flam able to dazzle the gullible with remarkable bullshit.

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One has to somewhat admire the man who’s extremely well-known for selling himself to the media as something that he’s not, and to his latest victim. As with everything else, he’s been involved in, this, too, will end in tears. The question is, before how long? And then what?

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Meanwhile, still on Hong Kong’s Shyster Island, remember we asked readers to guess the name of The Most Cunning Indian in Hong Kong who preys on those down on their luck, desperate to have some form of employment, and where, working with his Good Samaritan wife and so-called lawyers sucker punch these people by appearing to come to their aid by offering them the opportunity to own shares in a new company.

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Of course, none of these exist. But with his now well-known spiel of being a successful businessman with offices and homes in Montreal, and simply offering those desperate to be part of nothing the opportunity to own and run, let’s say, an Internet startup by dangling the dream of being the next Zuckerberg, this Indian conman, manages to dupe the innocent of HK$200,000 for their shares.

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This is followed by having various papers hurriedly signed- creating confusion is a great modus operandi- with the promise that he knows what he’s doing, and signing these papers is nothing personal, it’s only business. The papers are blindly signed, and those duped, have just handed over $200,000 for nothing. There’s no new business opportunity. Just a boiler plate template for any type of dummy company one can purchase online- and that dream and promises of huge future profits. That’s only part of the sting.

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Also signed in the rush are other papers where the victim has promised payment for shares in other companies. Soon, when asked about the initial down payment of $200,000 comes the double whammy: That’s gone. It’s part of investing in this new non-existent company. But there’s the question of payment for those other (non-existent) companies. Refuse to pay and his cahoots- the lawyers- come into play. If all else fails, they’re willing to settle for an out-of-court settlement. And many pay thinking this is the only- and least expensive- way to get out of big hole they’ve dug for themselves. Wrong.

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Having checked on this shyster’s track record, this scam has been going on for almost twenty years in Hong Kong. Those duped have been too embarrassed to talk about being impressed by this scumbag’s talk of a house in Stanley, businesses in Montreal, and a lifestyle in Hong Kong, where he holds meetings in five-star hotels and sells those needing a dream a financial nightmare disguised as a dream. But the noose might finally be tightening around him and the scam unraveling.

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The big office this cockroach boasts about having in Hong Kong is one of those virtual offices that can be opened in somewhere like Lippo Centre, and which he shares with his so-called lawyers. We have seen their letters of intimidation and these are no lawyers. None of these letters will stand up in a court of law. Hand this case to, for example, a barrister with the huge balls of a Kevin Egan and this entire scam can lead to various other areas that no one has challenged before. This meek and mild approach to accepting being taken for a ride just might be changing.

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In the online world of Facebook and blogs and Twitter where libel and defamation of character laws being grey at best, we understand that a new website where shysters in Hong Kong are publicly shamed has the name of this gentleman- and the chef with the golden soft touch- as the very first people on their Shame page.

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To longtime Hong Kong Belongers, this sounds like a very clever and much-needed update of the bilingual newsletter called Target and started in 1974 by journalist Raymonde Montague Sacklyn. Sacklyn was feared and Target reviled by many, but it certainly revealed the shady dealings of many in Hong Kong’s business world.

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An online and updated version of Target could certainly shake things up in Hong Kong- and get rid of this city’s cockroaches at the same time. We can’t wait for the launch of this very real bilingual website, and backed by some very heavy hitters in Hong Kong who know their law and their investigative journalism.

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