Indonesia fights cyber-fraud syndicate from China

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - It seems that a cyber-fraud syndicate from China had found Indonesia as a heaven for their illegal operation and therefore they set up headquarters in several big cities in the country.

More than hundred Chinese criminals, who included women, had lied as Chinese police or public prosecutors. They had connected Chinese victims and accused them of committing crimes. They had offered to cease legal process of their cases, if they transferred certain amount of money.

Since they had operated in Indonesia in February 2017 (another report said since late 2016), they had collected at least Rp6 trillion (some US$455 million) from their victims.

In simultaneous raids carried out on July 29, 2017, Indonesian police detained 149 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals operating their crimes in Jakarta, Surabaya (East Java), Bali, and Batam (Riau Islands).

The raids were carried out with the cooperation of the Chinese Police, who had informed their Indonesian counterparts about the fraud targeting Chinese.

The members of the syndicates had rented luxurious houses in elite areas in the Indonesian big cities. The Indonesian police also arrested five Indonesian believed to have helped their operation.

In Surabaya, police had detained 93 suspects, comprising 81 Chinese citizens and 12 Taiwanese. Two Indonesian citizen were also arrested for being involved in providing means and facilities.

"This evening, we raided four houses in Darmo Permai Golf or Graha Family in Surabaya that have been used for their operation," an officer of the special task force from the national headquarters dealing with the crime, Adjunct Senior Commissioner Susatyo Purnomo Condro, told newsmen following the raid on July 29.

He admitted that the syndicate had been successfully uncovered thanks to cooperation from the Chinese police.

"The police in China have received a lot of reports from citizens who have become victims of the crime, and after investigation, it was found that the operations were carried out in several places in Indonesia, including Surabaya," he remarked.

They hacked the banking accounts of Chinese citizens at random and checked the amount in the accounts before contacting the owners of the accounts to inform that they were as if being involved in crimes in their country, he explained.

"They used fraud technology to create Chinese code numbers. One of them who acted as a police officer or a public prosecutor then contacted them to finally make them transfer an amount of money," he revealed.

Susatyo said that in their operation from one location, they could inflict losses of up to Rp600 billion. "In Surabaya, the losses from four locations reached Rp3.4 trillion," he remarked.

The police suspected they had operated from four locations in Surabaya since Feb. "They kept moving from one place to another and also swapped their members to prevent public suspicion," he concluded.

Out of the foreign nationals of cyber fraud perpetrators, 74 had illegally entered Indonesia without proper immigration process.

However, the rest had evidently abused their immigration permits as they entered Indonesia using tourist visa.

In total, the police arrested 93 perpetrators of cyber fraud in a raid on four houses in the elite housing complex of Graha Famili Surabaya on Saturday night.

The foreign perpetrators were immediately brought to Jakarta via Juanda Airport, East Java, for further investigation.

In another raid in the countrys capital city, a joint team of police officers arrested 27 Chinese nationals for their alleged role in an international cybercrime syndicate in Pondok Indah, South Jakarta.

They were found swindling and extorting fellow Chinese nationals by pretending to be law enforcement officers, Chief of the Public Information Bureau of the National Police Brigadier General Rikwanto stated.

The syndicate, which comprises 15 men and 12 women, threatened the victims by accusing them of being involved in a legal case, he noted.

They later asked for a sum of money in return for promising to acquit them of legal charges, he revealed.

"Only after transferring a sum of money, they realized that they had been cheated and later reported the case to the Chinese police," he said.

During the raid, police also seized seven laptops, 31 mini iPad, one iPad, 12 handytalkies, 12 router wireless, three telecommunication networks, four cellular phones, 17 numeric keypads, and 20 Chinese residence identification cards.

The joint team comprised police officers from the Cyber Directorate of the National Polices Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim), the General Crime Investigation Directorate and the Special Crime Investigation Directorate of the Jakarta Metropolitan Police, and the Depok police resort.

In Bali, 31 people were arrested including 17 Chinese and 10 Taiwanese nationals in a house at the complex of Puri Bendesa, Benoa, South Kuta in the district of Badung.

Ten of the Chinese and Taiwanese were women, and one of the Indonesians was a woman.

Two of the foreign nationals were seriously injured in the foot and head during the raid.

Later, Balis Police transferred the 17 Chinese and 10 Taiwanese allegedly involved in cybercrimes to the National Police Headquarters, Jakarta, for further investigation along with other Chinese arrested in Jakarta and Surabaya, East Java, for similar crimes.

In addition to the Chinese and Taiwanese, four Indonesians involved in the crime were transferred to Jakarta.

Some 38 phones, 25 modems, seven routers, 10 laptops, eight cellular phones, CCTVs, and six passports were seized during an operation by a joint team involving members of the Indonesian and Chinese Police.

Brigadier General Rikwanto said the suspects from China and Taiwan had deliberately come to Indonesia and rented houses in various cities in the country to carry out a cyber-crime.

The victims of the syndicate are all citizens of China and also live in China, he stated.

Until now, the police have not discovered any victim from Indonesia. "No Indonesian citizen has become their victim so far," he revealed.

The case was uncovered after a number of victims reported to the Chinese police who then traced them and discovered that they were in Indonesia. Therefore, they then sought the Indonesian police's help to find them.

A joint team from the Indonesian Crime Investigation Department and the Chinese police simultaneously raided the locations where the syndicate members were operating in Surabaya and Bal

"In total, 153 people have been arrested in Bali, Surabaya, and Jakarta, consisting of 148 foreigners and five Indonesian citizens," Rikwanto revealed.

They found the homes for their operations from an Indonesian citizen, he pointed out, adding that the police believed they are from one network.

Source: Antara News

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