A Hong Kong student’s naïve decision to enter into a HKD 1m ($128k) loan agreement at a Macau casino in the wee hours of the morning is being presented as a cautionary tale.
According to Apple Daily (who did up one of those cool animations of the affair) the 23-year-old student, identified only by his surname Wong, traveled from his school in the UK back to Hong Kong to spend Christmas holidays with his parents. While there, he took a side trip to Macau.
The student lost HKD 50k ($6,400) at the baccarat tables and was at the pier waiting to return to Hong Kong when several men offered him membership in a ‘VIP club.’ The student was told the club’s benefits included free hotel rooms, limousine service, a helicopter sightseeing tour and the ability to gamble on credit in order to chase his losses. Faster than you can say ‘caveat emptor,’ the student took the men up on their offer.
The student was escorted to a VIP room at an unidentified casino where he signed a loan agreement for HKD 1m. The student proceeded to lose tens of thousands before deciding he’d had enough, only to be told that he’d have to sign another contract to repay his debts in 80 interest-free installments.
Upon arriving back in Hong Kong, the student was met by three other men who demanded payment of the HKD 1m, then escorted the student to his home. The student’s father contacted the police, who told the family to ignore the men.
But the men continued to harass the family, calling the house and leaving threatening posters – featuring photos of the student and details of his debt – on their doorstep. The family’s house was subsequently splashed with red paint, a traditional hallmark that local triad groups use to indicate an outstanding debt had reached ‘fuck you, pay me’ status.
Police eventually arrested three men found loitering outside the family’s home with similar threatening notes on their person. The student has decided to stay in Hong Kong until the issue is resolved and, presumably, so his father can yell at him in person a little longer.