China seeks custody of telecom fraud suspects in Jakarta

China | 28 Nov 2019 4:02 pm

The Chinese authorities have asked their Indonesian counterparts to send six Taiwanese fraud suspects, along with 79 Chinese suspects arrested earlier this week, to China for trial, Indonesian police said.

The suspects, including 11 women, were paraded at a police news conference in the capital, Jakarta, a day after being arrested. Police believe they are members of a telephone fraud and online investment scam syndicate.
Yuris, an Indonesia police spokesman, said the 85 suspects were arrested Monday in seven separate raids in Jakarta and East Java's Malang City, acting on intelligence provided by the Chinese authorities.
They are believed to be part of a cross-border telecommunication fraud ring that also operates in Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, targeting potential victims in China, he said.
According to a preliminary investigation, the ring has scammed at least US$2.5 million over the past year, he added.
All 85 are currently detained in Jakarta and the immigration authorities of China and Indonesia are currently in talks to facilitate their upcoming repatriation, he noted.
Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that its representative office in Jakarta is in talks with the Indonesian authorities to confirm the identities of the six Taiwanese and has also asked the Indonesian side to send the suspects back to Taiwan rather than China.

Jakarta Police Chief Gatot Eddy Pramono said members of the syndicate had come from China to Indonesia for three months at a time since last year, using tourist visas. 

“They were committing the crimes from Indonesia after China cracked down their networks,” Pramono said.

In 2017, Indonesia arrested at least 419 Chinese and Taiwanese citizens who were involved in a similar case. They were repatriated to face charges in their homeland after spending two months in Indonesian jails and being fined US$770 for violating their tourist visas.-CNA/AP


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