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October 26, 2013

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Shanghai, Taiwan police nab 69 swindlers for cheating US$3.3m

Two gangs of 69 Chinese mainland and Taiwan swindlers who posed as prosecutors and drug dealers during phone calls and cheated their victims of over 20 million yuan (US$3.28 million) have been caught by Shanghai and Taiwan police.

It was the first time the two police forces sent investigators across the Strait to crack down on the telecom scams.

Police raided 20 places and five offices in Taiwan and Shanghai and seized 874,000 yuan, 125 cell phones and 338 bank cards on Thursday.

On April 16, a woman in Shanghai, surnamed Zheng, reported that she received a call saying she was wanted by police and had to log on to a website of the so-called “local prosecutors’ office” to confirm. After checking the website, Zheng transferred over 1.29 million yuan to a designated “safe account.”

During their investigation, police found that more than 200 victims nationwide were cheated of over 16 million yuan after being asked to search their wanted information on the website by the swindlers claiming to be prosecutors.

After they typed in their ID numbers, the victims saw a page listing their photographs, personal information and a summary of their “crimes.”

The ATMs the swindlers used to withdraw the money from were sited in Taiwan, which meant they were on the island.

Meanwhile, Taiwan police received a report from a resident surnamed Chen saying he was blackmailed by “drug dealers” who claimed they kidnapped his son for taking some of their drugs when he was helping them.

They ordered Chen to put NT$300,000 (US$10,212) into a designated garbage bin within two hours.

After calling his son and unable to get through, Chen believed the caller and put a bag containing the money in the bin. But he found his son at home when he returned  and reported the swindle to police.

By the end of July, Taiwan police had discovered 31 such cases involving NT$21 million. They caught several Taiwan suspects in possession of the money and also discovered their accomplices were in Shanghai.

Taiwan police then sought cooperation from their Shanghai counterparts.

After sharing their findings, Taiwan police found the gang in Taiwan organized its members to make calls over the Internet to mainland residents to swindle them of their money.

Shanghai police located the members in Minhang, Putuo and Jiading districts.



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