Date
25 September 2017
Police escort a group of suspects down a chartered plane. Handwritten how-to instructions were given to the scammers who operated from a rented mansion (insets). Photos: china.com.cn, weibo
Police escort a group of suspects down a chartered plane. Handwritten how-to instructions were given to the scammers who operated from a rented mansion (insets). Photos: china.com.cn, weibo

Hundreds of phone scam suspects deported to China

Indonesian and Cambodian authorities have deported 254 Chinese suspects accused of involvement in a massive international telephone fraud.

They were among 400 people arrested in a joint operation by law enforcement agencies from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Cambodia, according to Ming Pao Daily.

The suspects were repatriated to Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou where they will face further investigation, Chinese security officials said.

A Taiwanese man led the syndicate which recruited and trained most of the suspects, in their twenties and thirties, from Taiwan and the mainland.

The group operated from Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines, mainly targeting people in the mainland and Hong Kong.

Authorities said the scammers committed more than 4,000 cross-border telephone scams using false identities to obtain personal information from victims or prompt them into transferring funds to overseas bank accounts.

In 431 cases, about HK$118 million (US$15.22 million) were stolen from Hong Kong victims.

Many of the suspects were arrested in the Indonesian resort town of Surabaya where they worked nine-hour shifts in a rented mansion.

They were given “sales targets”,  police said.

Authorities seized cash worth millions of dollars, bank cards, scam instructions, ledgers, mobile phones and computers.

More than 1,200 phone scams involving impersonation of mainland officials were reported in Hong Kong in the first 10 months.

The amount involved was HK$266 million.

The Office of Communications Authority warned the pubic to report any calls from a fake hotline (2961 6333) purported to be that of the agency.

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TL/AC/RA

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