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Cross-strait fraud operation busted by CIB

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- An ad hoc investigation panel headed by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB, 刑事警察局) busted a Taipei-based cross-strait telecom fraud ring on Jan. 23, nabbing six suspects involved in an elaborate cross-strait fraud scheme.

In a released statement, the CIB said that the investigation panel arrested six suspects from Taipei and New Taipei during the raid.

The case is now being referred to the Shihlin District Prosecutors Office for further investigation, the CIB said.

According to the CIB, the suspected mastermind of the operation, surnamed Chen, 35, recruited mainland Chinese to work as telephone operators who would call potential victims in Taiwan.

The callers worked to trick their victims by establishing romantic relationships through false pretenses. After successfully tricking their victims, the callers would choose from a number of prefabricated stories to fool the victims into handing over cash in person out of sympathy.

When the victims agreed to meet up, the mainland Chinese callers would contact their Taiwanese counterparts, notifying them of the rendezvous, the victim's attire and the specified roles to be played.

According to preliminary investigations, so far over 16 victims have been cheated out of a total sum of more than NT$30 million.

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