In a major crackdown on global digital scams, 235 Chinese, including 36 women were arrested from three separate places by the Cambodia Police in connection with an extortion money from people over the internet, an official said on Monday.
“36 women were among the 235 Chinese arrested Monday in three different villages in Takeo province, south of the capital, Phnom Penh,” director of the Interior Ministry’s Department of Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime Gen Y Sok Khy said.
The arrests were made in Tramkok and Bati districts in Takeo province at four different locations, police said.
According to reports, the scammers operated from overseas and target mainland Chinese over VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).
“Online scams by Chinese gangs that operate from foreign countries and target mainland Chinese are common throughout Southeast Asia and have been found as far away as Kenya and Spain,” said an official.
Cambodia has arrested and sent at least 1,000 Chinese and Taiwanese residents allegedly involved in such schemes to China since 2012, it said.
The scams are carried out by making phone calls over the internet and employing deception, threats and blackmail against the victims. Moreover, placing phone calls over the internet makes communication costs cheap and hinders tracing of the source of the calls, the official said.
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The arrests followed months of surveillance and investigation. The suspects were sent to Phnom Penh for further questioning and will be deported to China, Khy said.
(With inputs from agencies)