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China to help Kenya break scam

By Li Lianxing and Hou Liqiang in Nairobi, Kenya | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2014-12-05 21:23

Authorities suspect phone scam rings moving to Africa

Seventy-seven people arrested in Nairobi may be involved in a phone scam ring, and China will cooperate with Kenyan authorities in the investigation and aid in its efforts to bring those responsible to justice, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news conference in Beijing on Friday.

"We also hope Kenyan authorities will ensure Chinese citizens' lawful rights, and process this case in a just and lawful manner," she said.

Kenyan police found a large stash of unregistered telecommunication equipment in a villa near the office of the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi while investigating a fire that killed a Chinese national. The find led to the arrest of the 77 suspects.

Sources said one of the suspects is a Thai passport holder and the rest are from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Phone fraud gangs have previously been found in various regions on the Chinese mainland and in Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore. This case could signal a relocation of such crime rings to Africa.

China had more than 300,000 telecommunication fraud cases in 2013, resulting in a loss of more than 10 billion yuan ($1.63 billion), according to Chinese National Congress deputy Chen Weicai.

Criminals, usually claiming to be from the police, a court or bank, typically telephone Chinese citizens and try to persuade them to transfer money to bank accounts.

Using special technologies, they can mimic the telephone number of the police, court or bank on the victim's cellphone to make the call seem genuine.

Contact the writers at lilianxing@chinadaily.com.cn and houliqiang@chinadaily.com.cn


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