JOB SCAM/Man rescued, 5 suspects arrested during police raid in Taoyuan

11/23/2022 09:18 PM
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Smartphones, bank or post office passbooks and other items seized during the raid for the police investigation are displayed in this undated police photo.
Smartphones, bank or post office passbooks and other items seized during the raid for the police investigation are displayed in this undated police photo.

Taoyuan, Nov. 23 (CNA) A man who had been locked in a room against his will when he went for a purported job interview was rescued by police Tuesday, and five people were arrested during a raid of the building where he was being confined, the Taoyuan Precinct said Wednesday.

The search was carried out after a friend of the victim filed a report that the man had gone missing since Monday, the day of the job interview, said the Taoyuan police, who pursued the matter after it was referred to them by Taipei police.

When police got to the address that had been provided by the man's friend, the occupants at first refused to open the door of the apartment, but one of them eventually did so, and the police were able to enter, according to the precinct.

Inside the apartment, police found the 28-year-old man in a locked room, where he was being held against his will, and they arrested the five suspected members of a fraud ring at the residence, the precinct said.

During the raid, police said, they also found the bank cards and bank passbooks of six other people, who were believed to be victims of other fraudulent schemes.

The victim told police that he had been eking out a living as a painter at construction sites in New Taipei and had answered an online advertisement for an unspecified job that offered the chance to easily earn up to NT$100,000 (US$3,200).

When he was contacted to go for an interview, the man said, he was taken to the address in Taoyuan and was locked in the room, according to the police, who added that the man was physically unhurt.

The five suspects who were arrested are believed to be members of a crime ring that has been luring people with false job advertisements and then confining them so that they could be forced to run as dupes for crime groups, according to police.

The case Tuesday was the latest in string of similar incidents, which have been cause for grave concern in Taiwan society.

In an effort to address the problem, police said, they will step up their investigations into recent reports of missing people and carry out raid on rooms, apartments and hostels being rented to people suspected of involvement in fraud and human trafficking crime rings.

(By Flor Wang and Yeh Chen)

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