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30 Aug 2023

The Associated Press

Indonesia: 88 Chinese nationals arrested for involvement in a cross-border telephone and online romance scam

"Indonesia arrests 88 Chinese nationals in online romance scams", 30 August 2023

Indonesian police said Wednesday they have arrested 88 Chinese citizens for involvement in a cross-border telephone and online romance scam syndicate after receiving a tip from the Chinese security ministry.

The suspects, including five women, were arrested on Batam island, next to Singapore, said Riau Islands police spokesperson Zahwani Pandra Arsyad...

Most of their targets appeared to be fellow Chinese who were called over the internet and tricked into transferring money after the callers manipulated the “human emotion” of the victims, Arsyad said.

“We are still investigating this case, including whether any Indonesians among the victims,” Arsyad said, adding that none of the suspects can speak or write the Indonesian language. “If there are none, we would deport all of them immediately.”

...members of the syndicate had come from China to Indonesia for three months at a time since January, using tourist visas, and they were committing the crimes from Indonesia after China cracked down on their networks.

He said Indonesian police are working closely with immigration officials and China’s Ministry of Public Security in dealing with the suspects...