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4 men jailed for bank card cheating

FOUR gang members who used others' ID cards to cheat for bank cards were sentenced yesterday with jail terms from one year to four and a half years.

The Putuo District People's Court convicted the four offenders of obstructing credit card management, a new crime added in the newly amended Criminal Law.

Police seized 70 bank cards from different banks, 53 ID cards and a large number of credit card application forms in their homes.

The gang sold the bank cards to swindlers who needed bank accounts to receive money from their fraud victims, the court said.

Their crime was exposed after police in Zhejiang Province cracked a fraud case last September.

The scam victim was a Chinese-Canadian surnamed Zhu who worked in the province's Jiaxing City. Zhu received a message at the end of last August that a securities company would lift the prices of some shares and it offered the company's website.

Zhu logged on the website out of curiosity and saw it was recruiting paid members to offer stock investment service with a promise of high returns.

Zhu lured by the scam and was cheated 230,000 yuan (US$35,008).

Zhejiang police found the bank cards used to receive Zhu's money belonged to Chen Taihan, a 23-year-old native of Fujian Province, who applied for them using others' ID cards. Chen and three other gang members were soon caught by police.

The gang leader Guan Fati, also a 23-year-old Fujian native, said he met a man named Wang Ge last year, who organize people to sell ID cards for profit.

Inspired, Guan decided to do the same business. Last April he bought a large number of ID cards from Wang Ge, who is still at large, at 50 yuan each. He then distributed the ID cards and other application materials to three gang members and ordered them to apply for bank cards.

The three members were paid 300 to 400 yuan for using one ID card to cheat for a set of four cards issued by four different banks, the court heard.

"If we were refused because we didn't look like the person on the ID card, we would try another bank," Ge said at the court.


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