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85 Chinese nationals arrested in Indonesia for phone fraud

Indonesian police escort a group of Chinese and Indonesian suspects after a press conference in Jakarta on November 26, 2019. - Dozens of Chinese nationals have been arrested in Indonesia over an online scam that bilked victims out of millions of dollars, authorities said on November 26. (Photo by ADEK BERRY / AFP)

Indonesian police escort a group of Chinese and Indonesian suspects after a press conference in Jakarta on November 26, 2019. - Dozens of Chinese nationals have been arrested in Indonesia over an online scam that bilked victims out of millions of dollars, authorities said on November 26. (Photo by ADEK BERRY / AFP)  

They siphoned off $2.5 million from unsuspecting people

The Indonesian police said on Tuesday they have arrested 85 Chinese citizens for their involvement in a cross-border telephone and Internet fraud ring after a tip-off from the Chinese police.

The suspects, including 11 women, were paraded at a police news conference in Jakarta, a day after being arrested.

Jakarta Police chief Gatot Eddy Pramono said the suspects were arrested in several raids in Jakarta and East Java’s Malang city. The police believe they are members of a telephone fraud and online investment scam syndicate.

Mr. Pramono said most of their targets appeared to be fellow Chinese who were called over the Internet and tricked into transferring money to them. A preliminary investigation showed the gang collected at least 36 billion rupiah ($2.5 million) over the past year.

“They were committing the crimes from Indonesia after China cracked down their networks,” Mr. Pramono said.

Six Indonesian helpers who worked with them were also detained, but Mr. Pramono said they were not directly involved in the scam.

In 2017, Indonesia arrested at least 419 Chinese and Taiwanese citizens who were involved in a similar case. They were repatriated to face charges in their homeland after spending two months in Indonesian jails.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 10:22:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/85-chinese-nationals-arrested-in-indonesia-for-phone-fraud/article30090141.ece

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