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More than 30 Chinese sent home for extortion calls

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times Share:
Police escort one of the men arrested. Supplied

Immigration police are in the process of deporting 31 Chinese nationals for allegedly extorting money from people in China via the internet.

The deportation order was made after the suspects were arrested last week in raids of three apartments in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon, 7 Makara and Chroy Changvar districts.

Lieutenant General Uk Heiseila, chief of investigations at the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, said the deportees included eight women.

All the suspects are accused of involvement in a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) scam to mainland China.

The first batch of 17 were deported last night from Sihanoukville airport to Sichuan province

“The second batch comprising 14 Chinese nationals will be deported from Siem Reap airport to Henan province on Saturday,” Lt Gen Heiseila said.

He said the deportation of the second group was delayed due to a lack of flights from Cambodia to China.

Lt Gen Heiseila said the Chinese government had sent 93 security guards to accompany the suspects back to China on special flights.

Earlier this month, Cambodian authorities deported 74 Chinese nationals, including 21 women, who were arrested in Kampot, Kandal, and Phnom Penh. They were also accused of running VoIP scams.

The arrests and deportations happened after Chinese authorities alerted their Cambodian counterparts to the internet and phone extortion scams that have cost billions of dollars and driven some victims to suicide.

Since 2011, nearly 8,000 people have been arrested in countries including Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines for alleged involvement in similar fraud schemes.

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