Chinese police arrest over 1,000 people for cheating

Beijing, August 31: Chinese police have busted nearly 280 gangs and arrested over 1,000 people for cheating, the public security ministry said on Monday.

The suspects usually called the victims on the phone and pretended to be their superiors, long-lost friends, even Mafia members before asking the victims to deposit money in their bank accounts.

The crackdown is part of a campaign launched by the government June 12 to maintain social stability ahead of China’s National Day celebrations, said Wu Heping, spokesman of the ministry.

China will mark its 60th anniversary of the founding of the republic this year.

Around 4,800 cases have been solved, more than 19 million yuan (about $2.8 million) recovered and 1,469 people arrested for cheating since the drive began.

Wu said telephone fraud had been on the rise before the ministry started the campaign.

In eastern Jiangsu province, nearly 600 cases of fraud have been reported on a monthly basis at the beginning of the year, but after the crackdown just 10 cases reported in August, Wu said.

Huang Zuyue, vice director in charge of criminal investigations with the ministry, warned that the tricksters might now target the central and western parts of China.

He urged the public, especially the elderly and middle-aged, who account for 70 percent of the victims, to be on guard against telephone swindles.