2 Taiwanese nabbed for setting up phone scam centre in Macau

2020-02-27 04:01     Comment:0

Two Taiwanese men have been arrested for allegedly setting up a phone scam centre and providing maintenance and operation services for the centre which had been sending out 6,145 voice calls and 313 SMS messages every day for the past six months, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Ho Chan Nam said during a special press conference in front of the crime scene yesterday.

According to Ho, the Judiciary Police have been cooperating with the Zhuhai Public Security Bureau about the case since last year. The investigation showed that a phone scam gang had installed so-called GoIP equipment in a residential flat in Toi San district to transmit fraudulent voice and text messages to mainlanders.

Ho told reporters at the scene that from September 30 last year to February 13, the phone centre had sent about 6,145 voice and 313 SMS messages every day, pretending to have been sent by the mainland’s police, prosecutors, courts and healthcare and immigration services.

Ho said that the phone centre had been in operation since June last year, adding that at least seven cases of phone scams from the centre were reported in the mainland, with losses amounting to more than 1 million yuan (1.14 million patacas). The Judiciary Police are investigating whether there are any local residents amongst the victims, according to Ho.

Ho said that the Judiciary Police put the two Taiwanese men under surveillance after they had arrived at the airport on Tuesday and stayed at a hotel near Jardim Triangular da Areia Preta. That afternoon, one of the suspects went to the flat in Toi San.

The two suspects, a 21-year-old surnamed Huang and a 22-year-old surnamed Chan, were arrested yesterday morning when they were about to get a taxi to the airport, according to Ho. Both claimed to be unemployed.

The police seized 8 GoIP machines, two routers, two fibre decoders, two backup power supplies, two smart timer sockets and an SD card which were all operating when the police entered the flat to investigate.

According to Ho, the two suspects told the police a gang had hired them to rent the flat. They also admitted that each of them received more than NT$10,000 (about 2,650 patacas) each time they came to Macau, which included hotel accommodation and airfares, for running and maintaining the equipment and the system, but both suspects denied that they were engaged in phone scams.

The two suspects were transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) yesterday. They face charges of organised crime and fraud involving a considerable amount, officially defined as exceeding 150,000 patacas, according to Ho.

According to Wikipedia, GoIP is a series of GSM-gateways and SIM facilities produced by Hybertone and the DBL technology company. It serves to establish a direct connection between a GSM network and VoIP.

According to Wikipedia, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), also called IP telephony, is a method and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet.

The hooded suspects from Taiwan are escorted by Judiciary Police (PJ) officers from the crime scene to a police vehicle yesterday. Photo: Iong Tat Choi

This handout photo provided by the Judiciary Police (PJ) shows PJ officers investigating the crime scene yesterday.  

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