Two Chinese nationals were arrested and 72 others were temporarily detained on Friday in a series of coordinated raids carried out by the Interior Ministry to dismantle a suspected cybercrime ring run by Chinese citizens extorting people in their home country, officials said.
During raids in Sihanoukville and Siem Reap City, phones, computers and modems were confiscated. However, no evidence of of a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) operation was found during a third raid in Tbong Khmum province.
Morm Kamnal, deputy police chief in Preah Sihanouk province, where the two arrests were made, said Wang Yongde and Wang Jingu, both 33, were found with phones and computers they had used to extort money.
“The raid was carried out on Friday at Lexus Casino in Sihanoukville, and Preah Sihanouk police cooperated with police from the internal security department at the Ministry of Interior to arrest them,” Mr. Kamnal said, adding that the two had been sent to the Interior Ministry in Phnom Penh for questioning.
In a second raid in Siem Reap City, police confiscated 35 pieces of equipment from a house rented out by Chinese nationals in Slakram commune, according to deputy Siem Reap provincial police chief Nhik Keo.
“Internal security police department officials from the Ministry of Interior came to arrest them but they were two weeks late,” Mr. Keo said, explaining that more than 20 Chinese nationals living in the house had left long before Friday’s raid.
In Tbong Khmum province’s Ponhea Krek district, 72 Chinese citizens who work at Internet shops were briefly detained by provincial police on the suspicion that they were also part of the VoIP scam, according to provincial police chief Mao Pov.
“We checked them at their workplace in cooperation with the internal security department police and Chinese police to find out if they were running a VoIP scheme but we didn’t find any evidence,” he said.