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Credit card frauds by foreigners on rise

A local appeal court has closed 21 financial fraud cases involving overseas defendants since 2005, accounting for 96 percent of such cases it handled in the period.

The Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court yesterday issued a white paper on its judicial work, which covered financial crimes from 2005 to 2010.

Judges say that more foreigners are committing financial crimes these days. The overseas offenders mainly come from Asian countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Japan.

Most of them used forged Visa or Mastercard credit cards to buy valuables or to draw cash in the city because locals tend to think foreigners are wealthy and are less vigilant in serving them, judges said.

"Some of them were originally Chinese and went abroad legally or illegally after China opened up in the 1980s and got foreign citizenship," the white paper said. "They are familiar with the loopholes in China and can get away easily."

In the latest credit card fraud case, six Sri Lankans and one Indian were sentenced to prison from 15 months to six years. The gang leader, Sanjeevan Velautham, a Sri Lankan man, forged credit cards and instructed the six members to draw about 200,000 yuan (US$30,581) in cash from several local banks. They then transferred some cash to Sri Lanka.

The court handled 251 financial cases involving 15.56 billion yuan in the past six years. Fifteen offenders were sentenced to life imprisonment, according to the white paper.


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