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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Twenty-two accused of phone fraud

Chinese nationals sit at a local police station in Svay Rieng on Saturday after being arrested on suspicion of extortion.
Chinese nationals sit at a local police station in Svay Rieng on Saturday after being arrested on suspicion of extortion. NATIONAL POLICE

Twenty-two accused of phone fraud

Twenty-two Chinese nationals were arrested on Saturday in Svay Rieng province on suspicion of operating a phone-based fraud ring, according to police.

General Y Sokhy, chief of the Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Terrorism Department, said police arrested the 19 men and three women after raiding a villa in Svay Toeur commune where they reportedly uncovered equipment being used to make unsourced calls for a telephone-based scam.

“We found many tools related to Voice over Internet Protocol, being used . . . to extort money from Chinese people,” he said, noting the suite of technology for online audio communications.

According to Chinese media, the suspects were accused of making calls to China, identifying themselves as court or police officials and claiming that the receiver’s bank accounts had been compromised, meaning that money needed to be transferred to other accounts.

Sokhy said the group was still being questioned by police yesterday.

Saturday’s arrests were not the first of their kind.

Last year, police arrested 80 Taiwanese and Chinese nationals for allegedly running a phone-based extortion ring.

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