Scam crack­down

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - ByCAOYIN caoyin@chi­

Top court to pun­ish those us­ing tech­nol­ogy fraud­u­lently.

China’s top court on Fri­day asked all judges to se­verely pun­ish those per­pe­trat­ing fraud through use of tele­com or net­work tech­nol­ogy, fol­low­ing the deaths of two stu­dents who were swin­dled in Au­gust.

The num­ber of res­i­dents scammed by tele­com fraud­sters has been grow­ing rapidly in re­cent years, “which not only brings eco­nomic losses to them, but also makes them un­safe”, said Wang Ling, a spokesper­son for the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court.

Wang did not re­lease the pre­cise num­ber of fraud cases heard by Chi­nese courts, but a statis­tic posted by the top court in March shows that thou­sands of fraud-re­lated dis­putes were filed and tack­led in courts last year.

In Septem­ber, the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity said the num­ber of tele­com scams had risen to 600,000 in 2015 from 100,000 in 2011. “We’ve high­lighted the fight against fraud and asked all courts to speed up hear­ing re­lated cases this year, es­pe­cially af­ter two young peo­ple in Linyi, Shan­dong prov­ince, died af­ter be­ing swin­dled,” Wang said.

Xu Yuyu, 18, who was about to en­ter col­lege in Linyi, died of a heart at­tack af­ter she was cheated out of 9,900 yuan ($1,490) in a call, of­fi­cials said. The money she lost was what her fi­nan­cially strapped fam­ily had raised for her tu­ition.

Later, Song Zhen­ning, an­other col­lege stu­dent in the prov­ince, died from car­diac ar­rest, five days af­ter be­ing swin­dled out of 2,000 yuan, which rep­re­sented his liv­ing ex­pense at the col­lege for three months, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials.

“Some scam­mers in­sti­gated or or­ga­nized oth­ers to per­pe­trate the fraud, while some were re­cidi­vists. What they did has se­ri­ously harmed peo­ple’s in­ter­ests and State se­cu­rity, which can and should be heav­ily pun­ished in line with Chi­nese Crim­i­nal Law,” said Xie Kai­hong, spokesman of the Fu­jian Provin­cial High Peo­ple’s Court.

Since 2014, courts in Fu­jian have re­ceived 1,663 fraud-re­lated dis­putes in­volv­ing 3,484 of­fend­ers, of which 1,553 cases have been con­cluded and 3,356 have been pun­ished, ac­cord­ing to Xie.

From Jan­uary to Au­gust of this year, the provin­cial courts have handed down a sen­tence or fine to 895 peo­ple for fraud, he said.

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