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October 15, 2011

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4 charged over fake credit card spree

FOUR people from Hong Kong and Macau have been charged with using fake credit cards to buy 200,000 yuan (US$ 31,346) worth of luxury goods at high-end malls, city prosecutors said yesterday.

In July and August, they allegedly used forged cards to buy watches, bags, clothes, shoes and electronic goods at Xintiandi, Plaza 66 and the Golden Eagle International Mall.

Prosecutors claimed the cards had links to the biggest credit card fraud ring in the history of the United States, which was broken up by the New York police earlier this month.

More than 100 suspects were arrested in connection with that US$13 million operation.

In Shanghai, prosecutors said the four suspects were given 21 fake credit cards by their boss, identified as A Xiang. The goods they obtained would be given to him for resale, with commission of 10 to 15 paid.

Prosecutors said the gang started the business two years ago, posing as tourists and business visitors from Hong Kong.

In August, American Express Company reported to Chinese police that they had detected a batch of American Express cards with abnormal spending on China's mainland and suspected fraud.

Police carried out an investigation and apprehended five suspects. One was released on bail as she was pregnant.

They also seized forged credit cards and stolen goods.

Officers said the alleged ringleader of the gang and the other four suspects are still at large.

Prosecutors said the four suspects were poorly educated and long-term unemployed. Some were drug addicts and gamblers.


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