Hong Kong police have arrested a popular influencer for gambling online, as well as promoting an online sportsbook. She faces up to seven years in jail and a fine, but is currently out on bail.
If you’re a popular social media influencer with a significant following, it’s probably not a good idea to upload posts while you participate in illegal activity. Unfortunately, one 26-year-old in Hong Kong didn’t follow that unspoken rule. As a result, she could now pay a hefty price.
Influencer In Legal Hot Water
The South China Morning Post reports that So Mei-yan, who also goes by Cry So or So Miu-miu, ran afoul of the law this past Monday. Police arrested her at her home in Cheung Sha Wan, Hong Kong for allegedly taking part in illegal online gambling.
So reportedly visited at least one online “foreign” gambling website, which wasn’t named. The site offers a variety of gambling action, including blackjack, roulette and more.
While she probably would have avoided any repercussions for her activity, she then decided to upload her virtual trips to her social media pages. That would become her undoing.
The influencer, who also doubles as a cosmetics salesperson, allegedly spent as much as HK$300,000 (US$263,840) in a single month visiting the site. Compounding her bad luck, she also reportedly promoted online bookmaking. This carries a harsher penalty than gambling online.
Illegal gambling in Hong Kong is worth up to nine months in jail and a fine of HK$30,000 (US$3,846). On the other hand, promoting bookmaking carries a fine of HK$5 million (US$641,000), according to the media outlet. It also come with up to seven years behind bars.
Setting Herself Up for Doom
Being a public figure carries certain risks. A desire to become increasingly popular also means there’s a chance for increased scrutiny. In November 2020, So was the victim of a home burglary that, some argue, was the result of her continued public display of a lavish lifestyle.
In that incident, a gang of thieves broke into So’s home, tied her and her six-month-old son up and ransacked her property. They stole around HK$3.6 million (US$461,520) worth of goods before making their get-away, but they didn’t get far. The following month, police arrested nine individuals they said were involved.
The theft, however, brought more attention to So. It led to an increase in her social media following and public profile. As a result, It’s plausible that new additions to her group of followers were the same people who brought about her recent downfall.
So is now out on bail. She can only wait as the police continue to conduct their investigation before taking the next step. It’s doubtful she’ll post any pictures of herself participating in illegal activity for a while.
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