Police have netted an 18-member gang alleged to have stolen some 100 million yuan ($13.7 million) using mobile phones and the Internet, authorities said on Wednesday.
The gang's seven leaders are from Taiwan.
The group set up a fake company that claimed to provide low-interest and interest-free instant loans, which it then used to defraud hundreds of victims in cities such as Shenzhen, Shanghai and Wuhan, Luo Wei, an official from the city's public security bureau, said.
The bureau was alerted to the gang's alleged activities on November 15, after a Hongkonger surnamed Lau discovered that 1.7 million yuan had been transferred out of his bank account shortly after he applied for an instant loan with Shenzhen Fuda Co.
Lau said he received a mobile-phone message from the company saying it could give him the funds he needed for a business matter, and he took the bait. He was then asked to register his bank details on the company's website so its staff could check his credit history.
Later Lau was asked to put the 1.7 million yuan in his account as a security deposit and also to cover legal fees and commission charges.
When the money disappeared, Lau contacted police, who set up a special team to monitor the case.
On December 25, police raided offices in the town of Changping, city of Dongguan, and the Luohu district, all in Shenzhen, where they caught 14 suspects. They also found 500 bank cards, about 100 electronic certificates for Internet banking and tools such as fake seals and passports.
Police on Tuesday raided a home in Yueyang, Hunan province, where they arrested the remaining suspects.
Source: China Daily