Zambia arrests 22 Chinese nationals as they crackdown on cybercrime

Zambia's crackdown on cybercrime leads to the arrest of 22 Chinese nationals

In connection to a cyber crime ring in the Southern African country of Zambia, 22 Chinese nationals have been arrested. This arrest came as a result of the discovery of a "sophisticated internet fraud syndicate," which led to the arrest of a total of 77 people. The arrest resulted from the investigation of the increased cybercrime cases the country had been experiencing.

As reported by the BBC, showed that Zambian authorities including the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), which led the charge, the police, the immigration department, and the anti-terrorism unit, uncovered a large-scale criminal operation, after a multi-agency raid on a Chinese-owned business, located in Roma, an upmarket suburb of the capital, Lusaka.

The director general of the DEC, Nason Banda, noted that the investigations into the case began as a result of the spike in the number of fraud cases being recorded.

The items recovered during the raid included thousands of sim cards, devices that allowed them to mask their locations, two firearms, and about 78 rounds of ammunition.

Golden Top Support Services had hired "unsuspecting" Zambians aged 20 to 25, according to the director general of the DEC.

The firm used these unsuspecting employees to engage "in deceptive conversations with unsuspecting mobile users across various platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, chatrooms, and others, using scripted dialogues," he added.

During the raid, 11 SIM boxes were discovered; these are devices that can route calls across genuine phone networks. These boxes can be used "for fraudulent activities, including internet fraud and online scams", Mr. Banda said.

More than 13,000 SIM cards, both local and foreign, were also confiscated, demonstrating "the extent of the operation's reach," according to the DEC chief.

A growing number of Zambians have been losing money from their bank accounts owing to money-laundering schemes, albeit the claimed "illicit operations extended beyond Zambia's borders," the head of the DEC pointed out.

Evidence also suggests that persons in regions such as Singapore, Peru, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Africa had been targeted.

The Zambians arrested have been released on bail to aid in the ongoing investigations, while the 22 Chinese people and one Cameroonian remain in custody.


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