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13 suspects charged in cross-border telecom fraud

2019/03/25 20:43:32

Taipei, March 25 (CNA) More than a dozen suspects were indicted Monday on charges of organized crime and fraud for allegedly scamming Chinese women via dating sites, the Taichung District Prosecutors Office said.

According to the office's statement, the 13 suspects are allegedly part of a group based in Taichung that targeted Chinese nationals.

They were led by a 23-year old Taiwanese man surnamed Yang (楊), who began hiring locals in 2017 to join China-based dating sites with the purpose of scamming women on the site.

All the members of the ring pretended to be single and used a variety of fake pictures to target women looking for romance online.

Once they got to know their potential victims, the scammers then persuaded the women to make wire transfers, in the belief there was an investment project that could bring them a potential future windfall.

The ring members allegedly defrauded roughly NT$2.39 million (US$77,528) from six Chinese victims, the office said.

The 13 suspects were arrested at their operational bases in Taichung's Xitun and Nantun districts in recent raids carried out by local police.

Authorities found computers, mobile phones and other evidence at the sites from where the alleged fraudsters operated.

Based on witness testimony, recorded conversations, remittance information and other evidence, the Taichung office indicted Yang and his accomplices for involvement in organized crime, fraud and forgery of documents.

(By Su Mu-chun and Ko Lin)