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164 telecommunications fraud criminal suspects brought back to China from Laos | #philippines | #philippinesscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating


Police officers escort telecommunications fraud suspects from a charted plane arriving from Laos at the Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport in Henan Province on September 11, 2023.  Photo: Li Hao/GT

 

A total of 164 criminal suspects involved in telecommunications fraud were brought back to China from Laos on Monday. 

 A charted flight transporting 92 criminal suspects landed at the Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport on Monday afternoon. That same day, two other flights with 72 suspects in total also landed at the Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport and Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport from Laos.

 In addition to the 15 criminal suspects previously brought back to China by Anhui public security organs, a total of 179 telecom fraud suspects apprehended through law enforcement cooperation between the Chinese and Laos police have been taken back to China, according to public security authorities.

 Since the beginning of 2023, the frequent occurrence and significant losses caused by telecom fraud cases related to false investment and financial management have caused public concern. China, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos have vowed to protect people from gambling fraud and related crimes through joint special operations.

 The public security organs in Hebei, Anhui, Henan, and Chongqing discovered that a number of criminal dens involved in false investment and financial management fraud cases with amounts exceeding 1 million yuan ($137,000) were located in Laos.

In order to decisively dismantle these fraud dens, in July, the Ministry of Public Security dispatched police officers from Hebei, Anhui, Henan, Chongqing, and other public security organs to Laos, where they carried out law enforcement cooperation with the Laotian police to combat cross-border telecom fraud.

 With the strong coordination of the police liaison officer at the Chinese Embassy in Laos, the team has worked together with the Laotian police and continuously increased efforts in assisting the Laotian police in conducting multiple rounds of arrests, Yang Wanfang, the head of the operation team that headed to Laos from the Ministry of Public Security, told the Global Times on Monday.

The first operation organized by the Laotian police was conducted on July 19. The operation successfully dismantled a fraud den located in Savannakhet Province in Laos and 15 suspects involved in telecom fraud were arrested.

The team also assisted the Laotian police in successfully dismantling 11 telecom fraud dens in various areas of Laos, creating a strong deterrent for criminals, said Yang.

The criminal suspects in Laos were dispersed and hidden in different places, so the team needed to conduct meticulous investigations and cooperate with the Laotian police to further confirm their exact locations, said Yang. 

While working in Laos, the Chinese team also overcame several difficulties. Yang said that they encountered the rainy season in Laos, which led to frequent landslides, causing some difficulties for the Chinese team and the Laotian police in carrying out their work. Some of the team members also experienced physical discomfort amid an outbreak of dengue fever in Laos.

According to a release from the Ministry of Public Security, a total of over 640 mobile phones, computers, and other tools used in the crimes were seized, and 164 suspects involved in telecom fraud were arrested, including nine organizers and key members, as well as 23 fugitives.

Fraudulent investment and financial telecommunications network scams are the type of fraud with the highest average loss amount per individual case, which poses a serious social harm. Various methods have been used by fraudsters to lure victims into the so-called “investment” group chats, including impersonating investment mentors or financial advisors to gain the trust of victims by sending false investment success messages, or establishing romantic relationships with victims through online dating platforms, and then deceiving them and inducing them to open accounts on fake investment platforms and make investments, according to the Ministry of Public Security. 

 Lou Xiandi, director of the anti-telecommunication fraud department of the Ministry of Public Security, told the Global Times that since the beginning of 2023, the ministry has continuously intensified its efforts to combat cross-border telecommunications network fraud. Work teams have been sent to countries and regions such as Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Indonesia to carry out law enforcement cooperation.

The public security agencies will continue to deepen law enforcement cooperation with relevant countries and regions, continue to promote joint crackdowns, focus on capturing the leaders and key members of fraud groups, resolutely curb the high incidence of cross-border telecommunications network fraud, and effectively safeguard the property security and legitimate rights and interests of the people, said Lou.

Wang Jinsong, deputy chief of the telecommunications fraud investigation detachment of the Henan Provincial Public Security Department, said that the criminal suspects who were brought back to Henan this time will be handed over to the Xuchang Public Security Bureau for further investigation. 

Wang told the Global Times that they will conduct investigations in accordance with the law, resolutely bring criminals to justice, and make every effort to protect the residents’ property.

Henan Provincial Public Security organs have attached great importance to the crackdown on telecom fraud and since this year they have launched multiple rounds of “thunder” actions, carried out major case breakthroughs, conducted special research and judgment on overseas telecom fraud dens and fraud gangs, according to local authorities. 

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