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December 20, 2013

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21 suspects held after Cambodia raid by city police

A GANG of 21 suspects alleged to have swindled about 20 million yuan out of a Shanghai expat in a telecom fraud case have been caught in Cambodia and escorted back to Shanghai and Taiwan, police in Shanghai said yesterday. The ringleader, a Taiwan resident, is still at large.

Eleven suspects from the Chinese mainland arrived in Shanghai yesterday while the remainder, from Taiwan, were handed over to Taiwan police in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh on Wednesday, police said.

On October 28, police in the Pudong New Area received a report from an investment company executive, who was not identified, saying she had been swindled out of 20 million yuan for so-called overdue telephone charges.

Police found that the caller was in Cambodia, and they sought assistance from Cambodian police and Chinese there.

Shanghai police arrived in the country on November 19. At first, they found that clues such as a telephone number and IP address were not helpful because at least a week is needed in Cambodia to get a permit to search databases of telecommunications companies. That was enough time for the suspects to find out what was going on and flee, police said.

Later, based on previous investigations, Shanghai police targeted a villa in an upscale residential area in the capital. Disguising themselves as pedestrians, officers kept watch on the villa to confirm suspicions the gang was living there.

On December 9, Cambodian and Shanghai police launched a raid on the villa.

After Cambodian police failed to gain entry, finding the locks too tough to crack, Shanghai officers climbed into the backyard. All 21 suspects inside were caught.

Police in Beijing said yesterday that they had  busted three telecom fraud gangs and arrested 112 suspects overseas in a crackdown on such crimes.

In collaboration with Indonesian police, Beijing police investigated two gangs in Jakarta and one in Pontianak, arresting 112 suspects, including 79 from Taiwan and 33 from the mainland.

Since August, the gangs, claiming to be staff of Beijing courts, prosecutors offices or public security departments, made nearly 30,000 calls to people in China to cheat them out of cash, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

This year, Beijing police have busted 9,390 fraud cases, a year-on-year rise of 32 percent. They have cracked 22,400 such cases and arrested 1,970 suspects since 2011, Xinhua said.

With help from police from Asian countries including the Philippines and Vietnam, Beijing police have seized more than 1,140 telecom fraud suspects.



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