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China sentences Taiwanese fraudsters deported from Armenia

2018/06/14 18:09:04

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Taipei, June 14 (CNA) A court in China on Thursday sentenced 29 Taiwanese nationals to prison for taking part in a telecom fraud ring based in Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia.

The suspects were sentenced by the Huadu District People's Court in Guangzhou, according to a statement from the Higher People's Court of Guangdong Province.

Of the defendants, 27 received prison terms of 3-10 years, while ringleaders Chen Chun-chih (陳俊志) and Lin Tsung-ju (林宗儒) received 10-11 years in jail.

The alleged telecom fraudsters were accused of posing as Chinese court officials to scam Chinese nationals by tricking them into transferring money into designated accounts, according to the Higher People's Court.

The statement said the fraud ring accrued about 1.66 million Chinese yuan (US$260,188) in illegal assets from July to August, 2016.

It did not mention whether the Taiwanese had appealed the court ruling.

The Taiwanese were part of a 129-member fraud ring arrested by Armenian police and sent to Guangzhou on Sept. 2, 2016, despite the protestations of Taiwan's government, which insisted the suspects should be repatriated to Taiwan.

It was later determined that 78 members of the fraud gang were Taiwanese nationals, of which the first 29 were sentenced by the Huadu court on Thursday.

(By Yang Sheng-ju and Ko Lin)