Thu, Jul 19, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Seoul to cooperate with Taiwan, China in fraud crackdown

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA, SEOUL

The South Korean government said yesterday it would cooperate with the governments of Taiwan and China in efforts to crack down on cross-border fraud rings.

Making the announcement at an administrative meeting, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said that in light of increasing telephone fraud by rings operating in South Korea, Taiwan and China, the South Korean government had decided to collaborate with Taiwanese and Chinese authorities in cracking down on such illicit operations.

South Korean government statistics showed that South Korean police had received 3,990 reports of telephone fraud over the past year to June 30, with the amount swindled by fraudsters exceeding US$40 million.

Han said his government would put stricter financial and banking measures in place -- including raising the minimum balance for foreign nationals wanting to open bank accounts in the country -- and would help stem financial irregularities, including fraud operations.

Chao Chia-ming (趙嘉明), an official from Taiwan's representative office in Seoul, said that 150 Taiwanese citizens were arrested in South Korea in the first five months of this year on fraud charges. The convicted have received prison sentences ranging from three months to four years.

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