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June 4, 2020

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34 arrested for telecoms fraud

Thirty-four people have been arrested for an Internet and telecoms scam, local police said yesterday.

Eight of the suspects are accused of recruiting the other 25 people to apply for bank cards and provide scammers with bank cards for payment and settlement.

Each person recruited was paid 500 yuan (US$70) for every card successfully applied for. In some cases, an individual applied for more than 10 cards.

Their cards were allegedly used to process millions of yuan in transactions, the Pudong New Area police said.

Any person whose bank card had a money transfer record of over 200,000 yuan will be monitored by China’s central bank, according to a policy put into force in 2019.

The people recruited to apply for the cards were confined to hotels in the city or in remote border areas in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, where they were told to do face scans in case their bank cards were frozen by the banks due to abnormal transactions, police said.

Some were simply kept under monitoring so they couldn’t take the spoils of fraud in their accounts, police said.

A total of 25 people have been apprehended over applying for the cards. They face charges of assisting telecom and Internet crimes.

Yang Hui, an official with the criminal case investigation squad of the Sanlin Police Department of Pudong police, said the crackdown is important for curbing telecom fraud.

“Telecom scammers often operate their scams from foreign countries and to get the money from their victims,” he said.

“They inevitably need supplies of local bank accounts for money funneling or laundering. Cracking down on the card suppliers helps increase the cost of criminal activities for perpetrators.”

According to the statistics released by Shanghai Public Security Bureau yesterday, the number of cases of telecom and Internet fraud solved by local police this year so far has increased by 39.6 percent year on year and the number of arrested suspects increased by 26.2 percent year on year.

And the number of cases of telecom fraud in the city has decreased by 12.6 percent.


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