Last Wednesday, 225 Chinese nationals believed to be involved in a fake operation using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) were arrested in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia.
According to Y Sok Khy, director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-terrorism police department, the scammers were accused of stealing money from Chinese residents through a scheme using Internet voice call technology.
The arrest occurred at an apartment building in Tuol Kok district’s Boeng Kak II commune at around 5 p.m, where all 225 apparently lived, and police are still searching for more suspects involved in the operation.
Although Wang Dexin, head of the political section of the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh, declared that he was not aware of Wednesday’s arrest, Mr. Sok Khy confirms to have detained the 225 Chinese nationals at the anti-terrorism department, and that his team is now collecting their equipment, counting and questioning them.
It looks like Southeast Asia has turned into the main operation center for VoIP fraud and Chinese cybercrime gangs. Since 2012, Cambodia has arrested or deported more than 1,000 Chinese and Taiwanese over similar internet-related scams.
Last month, another 24 Chinese nationals and seven Taiwanese citizens were detained in three different districts in Phnom Penh, and another 74 Chinese were captured with the help of the Chinese authorities and deported to China, also accused of VoIP fraud.
More recently, 200 Chinese were arrested in Poipet City, near the Thai border, charged with persuading women to send them nude pictures of themselves and then blackmailing the victims by demanding thousands of dollars not to publish them online.