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January 5, 2010

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Man jailed for selling personal details

A MAN in southern China's Guangdong Province has become the country's first person to be jailed for illegally obtaining other people's private information and selling phone numbers of city officials.

The Xiangzhou District People's Court in Zhuhai City sentenced Zhou Jianping to 18 months' jail and fined him 2,000 yuan (US$300), yesterday's Guangzhou Daily reported, citing Guangdong Province's Higher People's Court.

Seven people who bought the numbers from Zhou defrauded money from the officials' friends and families. They were jailed for between three and 11 years for fraud and fined between 40,000 and 150,000 yuan, according to the court.

In December, Lin Guiyu asked Zhou for mobile phone contact lists of 14 provincial officials.

Zhou managed to get the numbers and sold many of the lists of the numbers for 1,200 yuan to 1,500 yuan each, gaining 16,000 yuan profit.

With Zhou's numbers, Lin and another six people managed to swindle 50,000 yuan from a friend of Zhuhai's vice mayor in February 2009.

They used software to make the victims' phone show the vice mayor's number when they called. In the same way, the seven also managed to cheat 830,000 yuan from friends of five other city officials in Guangdong.

Most victims said they agreed to hand over the money without double-checking the official's identity because they felt embarrassed to refuse such a request from superiors.


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