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Police bust Changhua telephone fraud ring

聰明用錯地方:詐騙防干擾 自製棉被屋隔音

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Thirteen members of a fraud ring, which set up an operations room in a townhouse house in Changhua County to target Chinese citizens, were arrested by police on Tuesday last week.


Changhua County Criminal Investigation Bureau’s 4th Investigations Corps had received a tip off about the suspicious comings and goings of youths from a four-story townhouse in the county’s Fusing Township. The youths exhibited strange behavior, always arriving in a van and driving straight into the house’s garage. On leaving, they would immediately pull down a steel roller-shutter door. Police officers were dispatched to covertly monitor the youths. Suspecting the individuals in question were running an online scamming operation, last Tuesday the police obtained a search warrant from Changhua District Court.


Dozens of officers from units including Changhua County’s “Thunder Squad” SWAT team and security personnel, using aluminum ladders, climbed from the neighboring building’s balcony and broke a window to gain entry into the premises. While police officers immediately apprehended five of the gang members, eight others, including the main suspect Huang Li-cheng, fled to the roof of the building but were surrounded by police and gave themselves up. All 13 suspects were caught by the police. Three suspects sustained leg injuries while attempting to flee.


Police discovered 10 padded cubicles within the operations room, made by covering mobile wardrobes with quilted bedding. Cubicles were fitted out with tables and chairs. Members of the fraud ring later confessed these were used to avoid interfering with other members while making phone calls and giving the game away.


After investigation, police discovered the group had been operating from the rented house in Fusing Township for over one month and were expressly targeting people in China. The gang racked up victims’ mobile telephone bills and carried out identity theft and money laundering by fooling their victims over the telephone. Other scams involved setting up a fake Web site to look like it belonged to China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate, which assigned phony case numbers to victims. Victims could check the Web site themselves, which showed they were implicated in a criminal case and helped to build up trust with the caller on the other end of the line.


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