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54 suspects in transnational phone scam escorted home


08:05, August 01, 2013

Fifty-four Chinese mainlanders suspected of participating in a transnational phone scam were escorted home on a flight from Indonesia on Wednesday, the Ministry of Public Security said.

The development came after 63 suspects, including 54 mainlanders and nine Taiwanese, were arrested nine days ago in Jakarta through the cooperation of Chinese and Indonesian police.

The successful arrests have already led to the uncovering of nearly 100 cases of phone fraud on the Chinese mainland involving a total of 40 million yuan (6.47 million U.S. dollars), according to the ministry.

An investigation was launched after Chinese police in May received reports that some suspects swindled money from people by pretending to be cable TV service employees or judicial personnel.

The suspects reportedly claimed that the victims were suspected of criminal involvement and their money needed to be examined.

Investigators found that the scam phone calls were made from Indonesia, while the sites where suspects transferred and withdrew money were located in Taiwan.

A Chinese police team went to Indonesia on July 5 for investigations, and with their Indonesian counterparts, they jointly raided four hidden sites of the phone scam ring and arrested all 63 suspects on July 22.

This was the fifth time that Chinese police have gone to Indonesia for phone fraud probes since 2011.

Over the past two years, a total of 43 hidden sites of phone scam based in Indonesia were destroyed through the joint efforts of both countries' police, resulting in the arrests of 426 mainland and Taiwanese suspects, including 192 mainland suspects that have been escorted home.

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