Sichuan court jails 54 telephone fraudsters

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Fifty-four people involved in two telecom fraud cases were sentenced to jail recently, the Sichuan High People's Court said on Thursday.

Liang Ting-wei, a resident of Taiwan who led 21 other criminal suspects in the first case, was sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison and fined 1 million yuan ($147,702).

Su Chien-chuan, also from Taiwan and the leader of 31 suspects in the second case, was jailed for 12 years and fined 1 million yuan.

The sentences were announced on Jan 31 by the Meishan Intermediate People's Court in Sichuan province.

The two groups of suspects stood trial in the Meishan court on Oct 15 and Nov 6.

In the first case, the court was told that Liang set up a telecom fraud organization in a villa in Bali, Indonesia, in early 2016 targeting residents on the Chinese mainland.

Six core members of Liang's organization were from Taiwan and the others were mainland residents.

Liang formulated the management system and handled all the management affairs of the organization. Yeh Hsin-chih, another Taiwan resident, was responsible for setting up and maintaining network communications equipment and sending voice information randomly through virtual telephone numbers.

In 2017, from April to July, the organization randomly sent more than 2.7 million fraudulent voice messages to telephone subscribers in many provinces and municipalities on the mainland.

Its telephone operators pretended to represent post offices, police and prosecutors on the Chinese mainland and fabricated credit card payment alerts and criminal accusations, along with use of personal information, to lure victims to transfer money to designated accounts.

More than 200 victims sent money to the organization's accounts as it defrauded them of more than 9.7 million yuan.

In the second case, four core members of Su's organization were from Taiwan.

From June 2016 to July 2017, Su and Tsai Chen-yu committed telecommunication fraud in a villa in Indonesia's East Java province.

Telephone operators impersonated employees of public security bureaus and prosecuting departments on the Chinese mainland to defraud mainland residents.

In 2017, between March and July, it defrauded people of a total of more than 24 million yuan.

Ordinary people suffered huge losses to make the fraudsters rich, said judge Yu Ning of the Meishan court.

A victim surnamed Wang said that one day in March 2017 he received a telephone call from a man claiming to be a policeman in Shandong province.

The con artist said Wang was suspected of involvement in a money laundering case and would be the subject of a probe by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau. The fraudster then transferred the call to another person posing as a Shanghai policeman. That person said the case had been transferred to the procuratorate. At that point, a phony prosecutor using the name Ye Guoxin asked Wang to transfer money to him 11 times. Total sums exceeded 510,000 yuan.

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