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Police crack down on Taichung-based telephone fraud ring

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- An ad hoc investigation panel headed by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB, 刑事警察局) busted a Taichung-based cross-strait telecom fraud ring on May 21, nabbing 16 suspects involved in an elaborate cross-strait fraud scheme.

In a released statement, the CIB said that the investigation panel arrested the suspects in Taichung, Keelung and Taoyuan.

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

According to the CIB, the suspected mastermind of the operation, surnamed Lai, recruited ring members to work as telephone operators who would call potential victims in China.

Gang members posed as police or prosecutors in telephone calls, convincing people to transfer funds to accounts operated by the fraud ring, the CIB said.

Most of the members of the ring are Lai's family, including Lai's wife, surnamed Lin, and his mother, surnamed Hsieh. As an incentive to encourage ring members to work harder, the ringleader even arranged a trip to offshore island of Penghu this May, the CIB said.

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