More than 800 arrested in fraud blitz: Taiwan
Taiwan police said Wednesday that a record 827 suspected fraudsters, including nearly 500 Chinese and over 300 Taiwanese nationals, have been arrested in an international crackdown on the crime.
The raids, involving police from China and seven countries in Southeast Asia, follow a previous operation in June when 598 suspects were rounded up, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said in a statement.
In China, among the several rings cracked was one led by a Taiwanese national called "Mu Sheng" who allegedly swindled around 120 million yuan ($18.75 million) out of victims from the mainland and Taiwan.
The police found that the group had used telephone and Internet equipment also set up in Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines.
"Cross-border crimes have become a trend in the 21st century that is not likely to be solved by individual countries," the bureau said.
The raids in China involved 1,900 policemen, made possible by an agreement signed in 2009 between Taipei and Beijing to cooperate on fighting crimes that cashed-in on rising civil exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.
In Taiwan, more than 600 policemen were mobilised in separate raids that led to the arrest of 123 suspects.
Ties between Taipei and Beijing, split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, have improved significantly after Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang came to power in 2008 on promises of beefing up trade links and allowing in more Chinese tourists.
(c) 2011 AFP