Fri, Nov 17, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Police in Kaohsiung crack fraud ring

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Kaohsiung police said yesterday they have cracked a fraud ring involving a local family that had cooperated with Chinese criminals to deceive close to 1,000 people into paying them almost NT$100 million over the past few years.

The city's criminal police unit said they have arrested Tsai Ming-hsiao (蔡明孝) and eight others on charges of forgery and fraud and seized more than NT$1 million in cash, 15 mobile phones, six Easycards, 71 bank and postal office accounts, 90 cash cards, two personal computers, forged chops and drugs.

A police spokesman said the ring members sent letters in the name of Kaohsiung District Court prosecutors Lin Yung-fu (林永富) and Chung Chung-hsiao (鍾忠孝) warning the recipients that their bank accounts had been frozen.

The suspects also allegedly called parents in the name of their children's teachers, saying their kids had been kidnapped in school.

The mail recipients and parents were then induced into divulging the personal identification numbers of their cash cards and bank accounts to the suspects.

Ring leader Tsai would then ring up members to go to a certain ATM to withdraw the cash and deposit it into another account controlled by Tsai's Chinese counterpart named "Doggie."

Police said that most of the ring members belong to a family of "Taoists."

The suspects allegedly spent the day loitering around different Internet cafes to trap people with their bogus schemes and spent nights holding seance sessions for clients.

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