Tele­com sus­pects busted in Cam­bo­dia, Sichuan

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YAN zhangyan1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A to­tal of 124 peo­ple, in­clud­ing seven Tai­wan res­i­dents, were ar­rested in Sichuan prov­ince and Cam­bo­dia on sus­pi­cion of cross-bor­der tele­com fraud, the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity said on Thurs­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­istry, po­lice of­fi­cers smashed 15 crim­i­nal op­er­a­tions, con­fis­cated money, equip­ment and data.

“Tele­com fraud se­ri­ously vi­o­lates peo­ple’s se­cu­rity, prop­erty and rights, and we must res­o­lutely crack down on such crimes,” a se­nior of­fi­cial in the min­istry’s crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion depart­ment said on Thurs­day. The of­fi­cial asked not to be named.

In Fe­bru­ary, po­lice in Guang’an, Sichuan prov­ince, re­ceived a num­ber of tips from the pub­lic that led to the dis­cov­ery of the sus­pects.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­istry, the sus­pects cheated their vic­tims by pos­ing as law en­force­ment of­fi­cers. Tar­gets were told that per­sonal in­for­ma­tion had been stolen and was be­ing used to ap­ply for credit cards. Large over­drafts had been run up, the vic­tims were told.

Vic­tims were in­duced to trans­fer money to a “safe ac­count” that was ac­tu­ally held by the crim­i­nals, the min­istry said.

Sichuan po­lice found that crim­i­nal op­er­a­tion bases had been set up in Ph­nom Penh, Cam­bo­dia and im­me­di­ately set up a spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion team. Eigh­teen sus­pects were ar­rested in Sichuan, He­nan and Hu­nan.

In June, un­der the di­rec­tion of the min­istry, Chi­nese po­lice went to Cam­bo­dia to make ar­rests. With the as­sis­tance of Cam­bo­dian po­lice, the Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties made their first ar­rests there on July 1, cap­tur­ing 74 Chi­nese sus­pects and es­cort­ing them back to China to face trial.

In a sec­ond crack­down, on July 17, Chi­nese po­lice co­op­er­ated with their Cam­bo­dian coun­ter­parts to cap­ture an­other 32 sus­pects, in­clud­ing seven Tai­wan res­i­dents.

Mean­while, the po­lice de­stroyed three crim­i­nal bases and seized lap­tops, mo­bile phones and elec­tronic data.

Of the 32 sus­pects detained in the sec­ond ef­fort, 17 were flown back to China by Cam­bo­dian au­thor­i­ties on Thurs­day morn­ing.

“The suc­cess­ful crack­downs have shown our con­fi­dence and re­solve in com­bat­ing tele­com fraud,” the min­istry of­fi­cial said. “No mat­ter where the sus­pects are hid­ing to op­er­ate the crim­i­nal ring, we will bring them to jus­tice.”

HAO FEI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Seven­teen sus­pects al­legedly in­volved in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion fraud are es­corted from a char­tered plane that ar­rived in Chengdu, Sichuan prov­ince, on Thurs­day from Cam­bo­dia.

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