The General Department of Immigration yesterday deported 91 Chinese nationals suspected of partaking in Voice Over Internet Protocol scams.
Lieutenant General Uk Heisela, chief of investigations with the department, said the Chinese nationals were flown back to their country.
“All of them were arrested at Bokor National Park in Kampot province last month. They were involved in extortion through the web and [conducted] VoIP scams,” Lt Gen Heisela said. “They extorted other Chinese nationals. Victims were lured by gambling, online products and loans.”
The suspects were part of a string of arrests made on October 1 that netted more than 100 Chinese nationals in Phnom Penh and Kampot province, he said.
At the time, Lt Gen Heisela noted 11 suspects were arrested in Phnom Penh for the same crime.
“The National Police arrested 91 others in Kampot province for the same crime. They were sent to the General Department of Immigration,” he said. “So in total, there are 102 Chinese being detained, including 22 women.”
He said yesterday that the suspects were handed to about 200 police officials from China and were flown back by a Chinese airline via Phnom Penh International Airport in the morning.
“Since the beginning of this year, we have so far deported a total of 982 foreigners from 50 different countries,” Lt Gen Heisela noted.
The department has reported that 14,909 foreigners from 93 different countries have been deported from the Kingdom since 2014. Of them, 1,649 Chinese nationals who committed scams and economic crimes were deported.
“Most of the Chinese nationals committed extortion and fraud using VoIP,” Lt Gen Heisela said.
He noted that immigration police cooperated with Chinese authorities to arrest all 91 suspected scammers. Lt Gen Heisela said the suspects were wanted in their homeland, fled China and were in hiding in Cambodia where they continued their illegal activity.
In March, Lieutenant General Por Pheak, director-general of the Interior Ministry’s general secretariat, said there were 287 cases of immigration crimes involving 1,103 foreigners and 89 cases of penal crimes involving 668 foreigners in 2017.
At the end of September, Chinese Ambassador Xiong Bo met with Interior Minister Sar Kheng to express gratitude for cracking down on crimes committed by Chinese nationals.