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Foreign workers' prepaid cards abused by criminals

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) yesterday stated that through joint efforts of prosecutors and police in Taichung a Vietnamese man with the last name Chen was successfully arrested for involvement in the illegal sales of telephone prepaid cards issued to foreign workers.

A representative of CIB's Telecommunications Investigation Corps Unit 2 stated that the investigation involved a man with the last name Lin who was wanted for fraud. Lin had reportedly purchased 1,761 prepaid telecommunications Subscriber Identity Module cards (SIM cards) from Chen, and then resold the SIM cards to people involved in criminal activities as well as people in the realty industry.

Allegedly, Lin purchased the cards at NT$1,000 per unit, and resold the cards at NT$2,000 per unit, with total profits being around NT$83,000. Of the cards sold, nine numbers have been proven to have been used to conduct fraudulent activities, involving up to 165 scam calls netted up to NT$5,059,500.

Following three months of evidence collection and surveillance, seven Taichung prosecutors raided 10 telecommunications shops with the aid of 60 police officers. Seven people were reportedly taken in for questioning, with the entire case being processed with charges of forgery and fraud.

The Taichung Prosecutors' Office has stated that the special prepaid cards issued toward foreign workers could be easily applied for with a foreign passport. As a result, the cardscan be easily acquired by scam artists, and warned telecommunications companies to strengthen their security to prevent the prevalence of such crimes.

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