More than 70 Chinese nationals were arrested in Phnom Penh and Kampot province in a series of raids after a monthlong investigation confirmed a tip that the group was operating a scam using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), according to police.
Chinese authorities contacted Interior Ministry immigration police about a month ago to warn them of the extortion group working in Phnom Penh, Kampot and Kandal provinces, according to Kampot provincial police chief Mao Chanmathurith, who was asked to cooperate in the arrests.
A total of 38 people were arrested in three raids carried out over the weekend in the province’s Chhuk district, he said.
According to Uk Heisela, head of investigations for the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, another 35 suspects were arrested across Sen Sok, Chroy Changvar and Pur Senchey districts in Phnom Penh, while some raided apartments littered with VoIP equipment were found already abandoned.
Major General Heisela and Mr. Chanmathurith declined to comment on details of the scammers’ work, which uses technology to mask the location of calls, making the location of fraudsters difficult to detect.
The 73 suspects were being held at the general department of immigration to await extradition to mainland China, Major General Heisela added.