Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chinese 'fraudsters' deported

Chinese 'fraudsters' deported

Chinese 'fraudsters' deported

2_story_1

Photo by: Reuters
Suspects from China and Taiwan hide their faces in a detention room at the immigration office in Jakarta last week.

Cambodia has deported 187 suspected fraudsters to China following a huge police operation that saw arrests carried out throughout Southeast Asia.  

Chinese police were shown on television escorting more than 60 hooded and handcuffed detainees from a plane in Xiamen late Friday, following their arrests in the Kingdom a day earlier. Raids were reported to have taken place in Phnom Penh as well as the coastal town of Sihanoukville.

Detained by a joint effort between Cambodian, Chinese and Taiwanese police, the suspects face allegations of extorting money from residents in China’s Shanxi, Hunan and Fujian provinces, as well as in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, China News Network reported yesterday.Networks operating in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam allegedly extorted tens of millions of dollars from Chinese residents since December, China News Network reported. In many cases, suspects reportedly posed as local police and finance officials over the phone to obtain credit card and banking information from victims.

 In the biggest case reported, one of China’s country-level financial institutions lost more than US$600,000, China News Network reported. Its name was not revealed. 

Some Chinese citizens allegedly saw decades of savings disappear. 

Cambodian authorities held the suspects for one night before repatriating them to China, Khieu Sopheak, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior, said yesterday. “We detained them overnight and then expelled all the suspects on a special Chinese plane,” he said.The joint police operation saw 187 suspects in Cambodia arrested, the spokesman said, an increase on the 166 arrests reported Thursday. Nearly 600 suspects were detained in Southeast Asia, according to Sina News. More than 70 suspects detained in Indonesia – the majority of them women – landed in Beijing’s Capital International Airport on Friday.

Although the investigation in Cambodia has stopped, local merchants on Street 21 in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon District said the residents of one raided house fled long before police arrived.

“They left two or three days before the [police] came. The police didn’t find them because they already ran away,” Chhun Nalen, a fruit vendor, said yesterday.More suspects would be arrested if Cambodian police became aware of them, Khieu Sopheak said yesterday. 

The operations demonstrated an unprecedented level of police coordination between Cambodia and its northern neighbour, Khieu Sopheak said. “It was the first time Chinese and Cambodian security forces cooperated to crack down on large-scale, cross-border crimes in Cambodia,” he said.

Those detained in Thursday’s raid are now under the jurisdiction of Chinese authorities and will not face charges in Cambodia, Khieu Sopheak said.

“We don’t know about the fate of the suspects. It depends on Chinese law,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to