The proprietor of Hong Kong matchmaking agency Loveaholic, recently called out at a press conference by a group of alleged victims, was arrested by customs officers on Tuesday for exaggerating the company’s number of memberships more than five times over.
Arrested for making false trade descriptions, the man – learned by the Post to be Wong Chin-yeung, 27 – was also accused of lying to potential clients about the percentage of female members, according to the Customs and Excise Department.
“To attract its clients, the male customers were told that about 80 per cent of its members were female,” one law enforcement source said, but investigation revealed more than 70 per cent of its members were men.
The source also said that while fewer than 200 members had registered with the agency, clients were told it had more than 1,000 registered members.
The Post first reported on Wong and Loveaholic on March 21, when lawmaker Ramon Yuen Hoi-man, a member of Hong Kong’s Consumer Council, told media members the council had received 22 complaints about the company, which he dubbed “ridiculous”.
In an interview later that day, Wong denied most of the allegations.
The agency’s website claimed it was “the most popular offline dating platform in Hong Kong, helping you find the best half for yourself” and that “thousands [of] registered users have been looking for their life partner on Loveaholic HK”.
Customs officers began investigating the agency after receiving complaints in early March. So far, 16 victims have filed official complaints – involving HK$180,000 – against the agency.
Of the 16 cases, each victim paid an annual membership fee of between HK$2,000 and HK$32,000 for the company to arrange them dates. The HK$32,000 payment was made by a male client who bought an unlimited matching plan from the agency.
The source said the victims included a single mother, a male technician and a worker from the financial industry.
Wong was arrested for making false claims in the sale of matching services on Tuesday morning when he was invited to attend an interview with officers at the department’s headquarters in North Point.
While not revealing the name of the agency or the suspect, assistant superintendent Yeung Yuk-man, said making false claims was a violation of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance – an offence that carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a HK$500,000 fine.
At lunchtime, customs officers escorted him to his Mong Kok office in Langham Place where they then seized documents.
According to the department, the man was granted bail, pending further investigation.
Yeung said members of the public can report any suspected violations of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance to its 24-hour hotline at 2545 6182.