Taiwanese phone fraud ring operated from Fiji

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Over 50 Taiwanese suspects arrested in a crackdown on a major phone fraud ring have been repatriated from Malaysia, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said yesterday.

The crackdown, which nabbed a total of 86 suspects in the Malaysian state of Sarawak in May, was a joint action involving police from Taiwan, China and Malaysia, the CIB said.

Of the suspects, 54 are Taiwanese, 29 Chinese and three Malaysians, the CIB said.

The fraud ring, allegedly headed by one of the arrested Taiwanese, surnamed Lu, chiefly targeted victims in China, the CIB said. The phone scams are estimated to have conned Chinese people out of more than 4 million yuan between March and May 2013, the CIB added.

The ring had been operating in Fiji, Japan and the Philippines before moving its base to Malaysia in March, the CIB said.

The Taiwanese suspects were repatriated from Malaysia in two groups – one on Thursday and the other yesterday – and have been referred to the Taichung District Prosecutors for further investigation, the CIB said.

The CIB and their counterparts from Beijing alerted the Malaysian authorities to the ring’s alleged crimes in April, which kicked off a joint investigation by the three sides and subsequently rounded up the suspects on May 9.

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