Cambodia, Indonesia crack down on cyber-crime gangs

Indonesia will deport 153 Chinese nationals arrested for alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar cyber fraud ring targeting wealthy businessmen and politicians in China, police said Tuesday. The syndicate, who ran their operation from abroad to avoid detection by Chinese officials but did not target any victims in their host country, made around six trillion rupiah ($450 million) since beginning operations at the end of 2016, Indonesia police said. They were arrested following a tip-off from Chinese authorities. "We are conducting an intensive investigation and currently coordinating with the Chinese police to deport them," said national police spokesman Rikwanto, who goes by one name. The group, based in several locations across Indonesia, contacted victims pretending to be Chinese police or law officials, promising to help resolve their legal cases in return for immediate cash transfers, Jakarta police said. The criminal network included IT specialists who would retrieve information on victims and develop communications systems for contacting them, he said. Chinese nationals were arrested in Jakarta, the city of Surabaya and on the resort island of Bali in separate raids over the weekend. "The perpetrators and the victims are Chinese. It just happens that they operate from Indonesia," said Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono. Police are investigating how several of the Chinese suspects were able to enter the archipelago without a valid passport. Cyber criminals targeting victims in China have increasingly exploited technological advances to operate from abroad, spreading across Southeast Asia and beyond in recent years. China has become increasingly…... [read more]

Preventing human trafficking in Mekong Delta Human trafficking ring busted Police said they stopped three Chinese nationals as they escorted the 34-year-old woman, whose initials are V.T.A, through Tan Son Nhat International Airport on June 14. Peng Zhang Mei, 54, was arrested at the scene; the two other suspects fled. Police arrested Mei after T.A.’s elder sister contacted them claiming that T.A. had been trafficked into China in March. In subsequent interviews with the police, A. said she had been lured to China by a Ho Chi Minh City woman known as Ut. She claimed to have met Ut in February of this year, after moving to HCMC from the Mekong Delta Province of Bac Lieu in search for work. Ut promised T.A. a high-paying job in China and took her to apply for a passport. About one month later, Ut took her to a hotel to meet with several Chinese men, she said. Later that day, T.A. was flown to Hanoi and driven into China across the border in Lang Son Province. After arriving in China, the woman said, she was forced to marry Chuong Tuyen Minh, who continuously beat her throughout their marriage. When she insisted on being returned to Vietnam, Minh demanded VND15 million (US$716) for her release, according to T.A. On June 6, T.A. called her sister and asked her to pay the sum to Ye Yong Quan, a Chinese man, who was staying at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Her sister told police…... [read more]

Pham Thi Hong Duc, 61, got a 12-year sentence while Nguyen Thi Tam, 41, and Nguyen Thi Dung, 48, were sentenced to 10 and six years in prison, respectively. Tran Thi Thanh Hue, 30, will serve seven years in prison, and Pham Thi Mo, 32, five years. Tran Thi Thuy, 45, will spend three years behind bars, respectively. The court also ordered the defendants to pay their women victims VND36 million compensation. According to the court’s verdict, Dung met Mo, Hue and a Chinese national named Xuan in Ho Chi Minh City in early 2012. The latter then asked Dung to lure Vietnamese women into illegal marriage abroad. They promised to pay Dung VND45 million for each misled woman. In turn, Dung recruited Tam to work for her. At the same time, Tam also collaborated with Duc to sell many Vietnamese women abroad. Duc confessed to have sold four Vietnamese girls to Malaysia. From early 2011 to August 2012, the defendants sold 17 Vietnamese women to China and Malaysia. Dung has got involved in a human trafficking case in northern Bac Giang province which is still under investigation by the local police.... [read more]

Since August 2013, local police have recovered more than 17,400 pills from four separate smuggling rings. Lai Chau Provincial Police Department Deputy Director Colonel Le Van Bay said most perpetrators are local, Son La, or Lao Cai residents collaborating with Lao smugglers transporting drugs from the infamous Golden Triangle. In early August, police in Lai Chau’s Than Uyen district caught red handed 29-year-old Son La resident Mua A Ky carrying 6,600 synthetic pills from Laos to Lao Cai province. Ky confessed buying drugs from a Lao man named Mua A Su to sell to the Chinese national Ly A Po at the Lao Cai border gate. On September 17, police arrested 45-year-old Giang A Hang attempting to smuggle 5,968 pills hidden in his motorbike. More than 4,000 pills were seized when local police raided the Nam Nhu commune home of 19-year-old Thao A Nha in Dien Bien province’s Nam Po district on September 20. Nha said he had spent VND120 million (over US$6,000) buying the drugs from Laos and was attempting to smuggle the narcotics through Lao Cai for eventual sale in China.... [read more]

Boeing 777-300 ER was reported to disappear at 02:40 local time on March 8 after leaving Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. It was expected to land in Beijing at 06:30 the same day. Among the passengers, 152 were Chinese nationals, 38 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians, 7 Australians, 4 Americans, 3 French, 2 each from New Zealand, Ukraine, and Canada, and 1 each from Russia, Italy, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Austria. The plane was said to lose contact with Malaysia’s air traffic control centre after departing from Kuala Lumpur. The Vietnam Defence Ministry reported the plane had gone off the radar one minute before it entered Vietnam’s air traffic control area. Its last known location was off the country's Ca Mau peninsular, and the crew did not have any contact with HCM City Flight Information Region centre. The exact position of the plane was not clear. Rear Admiral Ngo Van Phat, political commissar of Vietnam’s Navy Region No5, said Malaysia announced the plane may have crashed into the adjacent waters between Vietnam and Malaysia, about 153 nautical miles off Tho Chu island of Kien Giang province. He said all officers and staff of the Navy region are well prepared for search and rescue efforts. “We are ready to join Malaysia and Thailand forces to reach the area there the accident happened at the earliest time possible,” Phat said. Vietnamese Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang said Vietnam has worked out emergency plans to help with search and rescue work with Malaysia…... [read more]

China’s Global Times on March 11 acknowledged appreciation for Vietnam’s commitment and assistance in the international search for the Malaysian jet. Vietnam deployed military forces including helicopters and ships to search for the plane at Malaysia’s request. The Vietnam search operation was led by Vo Van Tuan, deputy head of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army. A search command headquarters was set up on Phu Quoc island, close to the area where the plane was reported missing. The country also permitted Chinese ships to enter its territorial waters to join multinational search efforts. MH370 was carrying 239 passengers and crew, including 152 Chinese nationals, when it vanished in the early hours of March 8. The BBC reported through the joint search operation that Vietnam has shown a high sense of responsibility for a multinational humanitarian case. Major British newspapers published pictures of Vietnamese helicopters and ships heading for the search area, and noted Vietnam has made an all-out effort despite the fact none of the passengers aboard the flight were Vietnamese nationals Foreign correspondents at work The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) says it has coordinated closely with relevant Vietnamese ministries and provinces to create favourable conditions for foreign correspondents to fly south to cover news stories. The MOFA Press and Information Department has set up a mission working around the clock to provide domestic and foreign correspondents with rapid, correct, and sufficient information about the missing plane. The ministry says it has received requests for support from…... [read more]

Following proposals from the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi and Chinese contractors, Vietnam’s authorities actively assisted China in transporting injured workers back home by air and many others by sea on May 19. Local police have initiated legal proceedings against and arrested people involved in the public disorder incident at the zone’s Son Duong Formosa deepwater port project on May 14. Security measures have also been intensified to help the Formosa project and other businesses in the Vung Ang EZ resume normal operation. Chinese and Taiwanese project managers, engineers and workers thanked local authorities and relevant agencies for their quick and effective solutions in dealing with the incident and its consequences. The Director General of Formosa project has confirmed that Formosa will continue the project and ensure its quality and schedule.... [read more]

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam said at a press conference of the government that as of August 21 the economic zone was accommodating nearly 40,000 workers, of whom 30,438 were Vietnamese and 3,514 were foreigners, including 1,913 Chinese citizens. The Taiwanese-invested steel Formosa project alone was employing nearly 27,000 workers, including 1,799 Chinese out of a total of 3,212 foreign workers there. Twenty-nine contractors plan to recruit approximately 10,000 workers to speed up the Formosa project. According to Dam, Ha Tinh considers contractors’ recruitment requests at different periods of time, based on the progress of the project. By August 27 provincial authorities had approved 2,063 applications, and they have yet to examine another 2,700 applications. Contractors say they will need 40,000-45,000 workers, including approximately 8,000 Chinese nationals, for projects at the Vung Ang economic zone by the first quarter of 2015. Among 1,913 Chinese nationals currently working at Vung Ang, 1,799 have been licensed, and the remainder are waiting for the license.... [read more]

The deported Chinese had entered Danang on tourist visas and stayed to work without a permit, according to the immigration office under the Danang police department. The police department has also recommended that the municipal administration levy a VND15 million (US$670) fine on each of the unlicensed workers. These Chinese were brought to Danang on tourist visas to work at the construction site of the five-star JW Marriott Hotel project, according to the immigration office. The project is contracted by China’s Sichuan Hua Shi Co. Ltd., and developed by Silver Shores Co. Ltd., which has a Chinese director. Last month the contractor won approval to bring an additional 300 Chinese laborers to the project, raising concern among local experts and members of the public. Chinese visitors have accounted for 65,000 out of 129,000 international arrivals to Ngu Hanh Son in the year to date, with Silver Shores operating charter flights bringing passengers from some Chinese localities to the Vietnamese city on a weekly basis. Such a mass entry has prompted the local administration to “strengthen control over residential issues,” Dao Tan Bang, secretary of the district’s Party Committee, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Sunday. The deportation of the 64 illegal Chinese workers is therefore seen as the first action of local authorities in their bid to tighten immigration control. The rising number of Chinese visitors has in fact caused myriad problems for Ngu Hanh Son District, Bang admitted. As of the end of November, the district’s administration had handled…... [read more]

The area, which is separated from the military airport by a system of fences, has been sold to multiple Vietnamese residents, most of whom are among the poorest people in the local community, in addition to ‘joint ventures’ in which Vietnamese are minor stakeholders compared to Chinese nationals. Le Tan Nghia, chairman of the People’s Committee of Khue My Ward, where the land is located, told Tuoi Tre that although there is no proof to say Chinese nationals are behind the land purchases, it is unusual that dozens of land plots have been bought by people in economic difficulty. According to Tuoi Tre findings, among the people who have purchased dozens of land plots is one man, Ly Phuoc Cang, from Hoa Vang District who has spent VND50 billion (US$2.2 million) on 12 subdivisions. Nguyen Duc Thanh, secretary of the Duong Son village where Cang resides, told Tuoi Tre that Cang’s family lives among a group of the poorest people in the village. "I can assert that Cang has never had enough money to buy dozens of land plots at the same time,” Thanh said. The entire assets of Cang’s family, when sold, would not be enough to buy even half a land plot there, he added. V., Cang’s mother, confirmed to Tuoi Tre that the earnings of Cang’s family are just enough to make ends meet, and she often gives away some money to her son’s family. This photo shows the area, which is separated from Nuoc Man Military…... [read more]

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