Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Chinese Are Coming: (With Dodgy Credit Cards)

A Chinese tourist has been jailed after he was caught at Harrods trying to buy an iPhone with one of his five fake bank cards.

Hong Kong-native Lipman Li, 30, claims he bought the counterfeit cards on the internet after arriving in the UK a month before his arrest.

He has swapped the comfort of the London House Hotel, Kensington Gardens Square for a small room at one of Her Majesty’s secure establishments.

Yesterday he pleaded guilty at Hammersmith Magistrates Court to one count of fraud by false representation on January 23, namely using a counterfeit HSBC card to purchase the £695 phone.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing fraudulent articles, namely two HSBC, two American Express and one Capital One card.

Li, who has been locked-up since his arrest, was sentenced to twenty-six weeks imprisonment and ordered to pay £115.

Prosecutor Mr. Tom Gill told the court the store cashier alerted security after Li presented the fake card and when police searched him four more were discovered.

The court heard he is an Economics and Finance graduate, who worked in that sector until 2014.

More recently he has used his language skills to teach English and took time off to visit London as a tourist and explore employment opportunities with friends who had opened a consulting business.

Li arrived in this country on December 23, last year and says he is “shocked” by what he did and now just wants to go home.

“What concerns me is the number of cards in his possession,” announced District Judge Vanessa Barressa. “Each and every one of these cards were counterfeit.

She told bespectacled Li: “You targeted a high-end store, Harrods, and a hi-end item, an iPhone priced at nearly seven hundred pounds.” 

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