The Criminal Investigation Bureau said yesterday that a joint anti-crime operation between Taiwanese and Vietnamese police resulted in the arrest of 46 suspects in a telephone fraud ring on Tuesday.
The bureau said Vietnamese police arrested 32 Taiwanese and 14 Chinese suspects and confiscated telephones, handsets, computers and Internet equipment, which were used to make phone calls to potential fraud victims in Taiwan and China.
The suspects, aged 25 to 30, were recruited through job advertisements, the bureau said.
Once they arrived in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, their movements were restricted by their bosses and they were not permitted to go out on weekdays, it said.
It is estimated that the fraud ring made about NT$10 million (US$310,000) from its operation in Vietnam, the bureau said.
Ma Chen-hua (馬振華), head of the bureau's International Criminal Affairs Section, said that since Taiwan and China signed an agreement in April last year to assist each other in fighting crime, fraud rings have found it more difficult to operate in these two areas and some have moved to Southeast Asia.
Some of the gangs chose Vietnam because its fraud laws only deal with crimes against Vietnamese victims, meaning fraud rings that target people in Taiwan and China cannot be prosecuted in Vietnam, the bureau said.
The bureau said it was reviewing evidence collected in the recent crackdown to figure out a way to bring the suspects to justice.
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