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September 14, 2011

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11 detained over forged card spree

POLICE detained 11 people suspected of using forged credit cards to buy luxury goods in Shanghai department stores, officers said yesterday.

The suspects, who include one Malaysian and six people from Hong Kong, sold overseas the goods they obtained, said the Economic Crime Investigation Department (ECID) of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

Police said they confiscated more than 150 forged credit cards, 20 fake identification cards and more than 30 luxury goods items worth 1 million yuan (US$156,328).

The case is still under investigation as officers suspect there may be a bigger group behind the operation.

"The details on the cards was bought from illegal websites overseas and the owners of these accounts come from all over the world," said Dai Xinfu, the ECID director.

"Although the victims were not from China and their losses may be covered by insurance companies, this damages the city's financial image - and we'll never allow that to happen," said Dai.

On August 3, the suspects were found using forged cards to shop at malls on Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road, said police who checked surveillance videos. Officers then prepared to swoop.

"We believed it wouldn't be a one-off and the suspects would soon come back," said police officer Yu Meng.

On August 11, one of the suspects, surnamed Jing, was taken for questioning while shopping on Huaihai Road and another four members of the gang, including a Malaysian, were apprehended the next morning, police said.

On August 17, the six Hong Kong suspects were apprehended in a hotel in Jing'an District when they returned to the city to shop again.

Meanwhile, Shanghai police said they have broken up a "professional" gang of 28 people suspected of forging overseas credit cards.

More than 7,000 forged credit cards were confiscated in five locations nationwide.

This was the first professional gang caught by city police making forged cards after purchasing details from overseas websites, police said.

On March 2, a city resident was found using forged cards to shop in Xuhui District. Through this man, police tracked down one suspect, surnamed Wang, and uncovered the gang.

After four months, police raided them and found 7,000 forged cards, 100 fake identification cards, four sets of card-making tools and details of 13 illegal websites overseas selling credit card information, police said.

This year, local police had detained more than 700 suspects by August in 1,900 bank card cases and recovered 12 million yuan.


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