Fri, Jul 02, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Con artists from Taiwan nabbed working in China

AP , SHANGHAI

Shanghai police have arrested 57 Taiwanese over a scam that tricked people into paying "taxes" in advance for nonexistent prizes, newspapers reported yesterday.

The suspects, 48 men and nine women, were lured to Shanghai with promises of legal jobs -- but the fraud organizers seized their passports and forced them to work for the scam, the Shanghai Daily said.

The fraud involved calling people in Taiwan on the pretext of conducting surveys, then telling them they'd get prizes if they deposited a 20 percent "tax" in a bank account, the Shanghai Star newspaper said.

The reports didn't say whether the suspects were in detention or had been formally charged, and police spokesmen weren't immediately available for comment.

Wu Yuehong, a spokesman for the Shanghai prosecutor's office, said that he wasn't aware of the case.

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