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Chinese Cybercrime Gang Sentenced to Long Jail Terms in Zambia

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Ayize claire

Jun 9, 2024

22 Chinese nationals and a Cameroonian man involved in a sophisticated internet fraud syndicate targeting victims worldwide.

Lusaka, Zambia – In a landmark ruling, 22 Chinese nationals and one Cameroonian man have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms in Zambia for cyber-related crimes. The convicts, including the gang's mastermind, Li Xianlin, received sentences ranging from seven to 11 years, along with fines between $1,500 and $3,000.

The only female convict, Gu Tianjiao, was visibly emotional as her seven-year sentence was announced in the Lusaka Magistrates Court.

The cybercrime syndicate, known for its sophisticated internet fraud operations, targeted victims in Singapore, Peru, the United Arab Emirates, and beyond. The group's activities were centered around the Chinese-run Golden Top Support Services in Lusaka's Roma suburb.

Following their arrests in April, the perpetrators pleaded guilty to charges including computer-related misrepresentation, identity-related crimes, and illegal network operation. The raid on Golden Top Support Services led to the discovery of equipment for disguising caller locations, 11 Sim boxes, over 13,000 Sim cards, two firearms, and two vehicles.

Zambian authorities highlighted a significant rise in internet fraud cases, with Zambians losing money through international money-laundering schemes. The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) noted that dozens of young Zambians were also recruited as call-centre agents for these fraudulent activities.

The investigation continues, with Zambian nationals involved in the syndicate released on bail to assist authorities.

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