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Sophisticated Chinese internet fraud syndicate uncovered

A “sophisticated internet fraud syndicate” was recently discovered in Zambia, resulting in the apprehension of 77 individuals, including 22 Chinese citizens. This development was described as a “significant breakthrough in the fight against cybercrime” by authorities following a joint operation on a Chinese-owned establishment.

The company had employed Zambians who were under the impression that they were being hired as call-center agents. Seized during the operation were tools that allowed callers to conceal their location, as well as thousands of Sim cards. The company in question, Golden Top Support Services, has refrained from making any statements regarding the accusations.

The raid, which took place at the firm’s premises in Roma, an upscale neighborhood in the capital city of Lusaka, was spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and involved the police, immigration department, and anti-terrorism unit. This action was prompted by a surge in internet fraud cases in Zambia, with the DEC director general, Nason Banda, revealing that months of intelligence gathering had preceded the operation.

The company had recruited Zambians aged between 20 and 25, who were unknowingly tasked with engaging in deceptive conversations with mobile users across various platforms. The operation uncovered 11 Sim boxes, which are capable of routing calls in a manner that circumvents legitimate phone networks, facilitating fraudulent activities such as internet fraud and online scams.

Additionally, over 13,000 Sim cards, both domestic and international, were confiscated, highlighting the extensive reach of the operation. While many Zambians had fallen victim to money-laundering schemes, the syndicate’s illicit activities extended beyond the country’s borders, targeting individuals in nations like Singapore, Peru, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and various other African countries. SOURCE: By Wycliffe Muia,BBC News

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