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March 7, 2013

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25 jailed for roles in phone scam

A GANG of 25 people who swindled 1.8 million yuan (US$289,440) from more than 2,000 residents in a phone scam were sentenced between three months and 12 years in prison, Baoshan District People's Court said yesterday.

The gang's salesmen pretended to work for the Nokia Customer Service Center. They called victims offering a promotional package containing a prepaid phone card worth between 500 yuan and 2,000 yuan and a free cellphone.

Victims paid for the value of the prepaid phone card. After paying, they would receive a text message showing the value of the phone card had been added to their balance even though the balance never actually changed, prosecutors said. The free handsets were knockoffs that didn't work, prosecutors added.

Defendants Wang and Yang hired the other gang members.

Wang was sentenced to 12 years while Yang was jailed for 11 years. The other 23 got three months to two years.


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