25 May 2012

China Thwarts Transnational Telecom Fraud, 482 Arrested

Chinese and Taiwanese law enforcement officials in cooperation with six other countries’police forces took into custody 482 suspects in a major transnational telecom scam, according to a xinhuanet.com report. Estimates of the suspects’fraudulent gains point to more than 11.5 million USD presumably collected in 510 separate incidents.

The uncovered network connected China, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Fiji, with Taiwan and Thailand acting as money laundering centers.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security launched the investigation in November 2011 and co-opted the Taiwanese authorities in this operation. In May 2012, 420 Chinese police officers were dispatched to the other six monitored countries in “a new paradigm of transnational police cooperation” according to Liu Ancheng, deputy director of the ministry's Criminal Investigation Bureau, as quoted by xinhuanet.com.

The fraudsters targeted individuals and businesses by calling them and impersonating police or procuratorate officials who claimed various sums of money in exchange for dropping imaginary money laundering charges against the potential victims. Liu Ancheng pointed out that the vast majority of the suspects were Taiwanese, which was supposedly due to the “mainland’s police stern crackdown on telecom scams” that had forced fraudster recruitment to be transferred to Taiwan.