Immigration officials yesterday deported more than 60 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals to China for carrying out an internet scam in the capital, despite a similar deportation in June drawing protests from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs when its citizens were sent to the mainland.
The 63 people, of whom 13 were Taiwanese, were conducting a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) scam from four houses in Chbar Ampov district’s Veal Sbov commune. They were caught after a two-month investigation into their activities, according to Uk Hai Seila, chief of investigations at the Immigration Department.
“We sent 63 Chinese [and Taiwanese] nationals back this afternoon for being involved with extorting money from China through VoIP,” Hai Seila said yesterday.
Hai Seila said the investigation was initiated after authorities got suspicious seeing “so many Chinese living” at one location. He added that the group was caught with seven laptops, 66 VoIP gateways, 100 desk phones and other equipment used in the illegal operation.
In June, China suspended ties between the two countries in reaction to Taiwan’s complaints over the “capturing” of 25 of its nationals involved in a similar scam.
The arrests of such alleged VoIP extortion rings are not uncommon. A joint crackdown with Chinese Interpol netted 118 Chinese nationals at a Banteay Meanchey casino earlier this year, though 80 of them were later released.