Wednesday, June 19, 2024

22 Chinese nationals sentenced to long prison terms in Zambia for multinational cybercrimes

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On Friday 22 Chinese nationals were sentenced to long prison terms for cybercrimes that included internet fraud and online scams targeting Zambians and other people from Singapore, Peru and the United Arab Emirates.

The Magistrates Court in the capital, Lusaka, sentenced them for terms ranging from seven to 11 years. The gang’s only female convict, Gu Tianjiao, reportedly cried out “papa, papa” as her seven-year sentence was announced.The court also fined them between $1,500 and $3,000 after they pleaded guilty to charges of computer-related misrepresentation, identity fraud and illegally operating a network or service on Wednesday. A man from Cameroon also was sentenced and fined on the same changes.

They were part of a group of 77 people, the majority of them Zambians, arrested in April over what police described as a “sophisticated internet fraud syndicate.”

Director-general of the drug enforcement commission, Nason Banda, said investigations began after authorities noticed a spike in the number of cyber-related fraud cases and many people complained about inexplicably losing money from their mobile phones or bank accounts.

Officers from the commission, police, the immigration department and the anti-terrorism unit in April swooped on a Chinese-run business in an upmarket suburb of Lusaka, arresting the 77, including those sentenced Friday. Authorities recovered over 13,000 local and foreign mobile phone SIM cards, two firearms and 78 rounds of ammunition during the raid.

The business, named Golden Top Support Services, had employed “unsuspecting” Zambians aged between 20 and 25 to use the SIM cards to engage “in deceptive conversations with unsuspecting mobile users across various platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, chat rooms and others, using scripted dialogues,” Banda said in April after the raid. The locals were freed on bail.

APNEWS

9 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s not hear that they have done an Egypt ….and turned ‘state witnesses’ or freed … these chambia set ups are worrying … recently I noted that the famous Kingsland has a Russian doing a job any grade 12 Zambian can do … immigration do your job !

    • This case has been decided and all the suspects have been convicted. Let’s congratulate our law enforcement officers for a job well done.

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    • The Chinese convicts will be extradited to China to enjoy their newfound free,trust me they won’t spend 3 months in a Zambian prison.

      The Cameroonian and Zambian convicts will rot in a Zambian prison.

  2. Well done – all African countries should become stricter with foreign nationals, seems it so easy to enter Africa but not easy for Africans to enter their country without the necessary documentation!

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    • @Felicity – so true…why are Africans so hungry for their foreign currency…Africans, if you only knew how rich your continent is….! You actually do not even need foreign aid. You have everything…UNITE and let them wait for Visas to visit .

    • @Felisty…Namibia has done just that. It now requires visa from countries that do not reciprocate with their visa policies. People from mostly Western countries feel they have a right to waltz into Africa, strut around the continent like peacocks with an inflated sense of entitlement–while African citizens find it hard to enter their countries. Zambia needs to make it relatively hard for people from East and Western countries to come into the country.

  3. Make sure these convicted foreign nationals are sent to prison and stay in prison. Do not secretly send them back to their country without serving a prison sentence in Zambia. Set an example out of them to discourage other would be foreign law breakers. If a Zambian committed these same crimes in China, he would have a more severe punishment than what was given to these criminal Chinese. So please be very strict with them. Let them stay in prison for their crimes.

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