Site icon News-EN

22 Chinese are imprisoned in Zambia for multinational cybercrime


LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) — A Zambian court jailed 22 Chinese nationals Friday for cybercrime, including 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 gave them prison sentences of seven to 11 years. The court also fined them between $1,500 and $3,000 on Wednesday after they pleaded guilty to charges of computer-related misrepresentation, identity fraud and illegally operating a network or service. A man from Cameroon was also jailed and fined for the same changes.

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

Drug Enforcement Commission Director General Nason Banda said the investigation was launched after authorities noticed a spike in cyber-related fraud cases and many people complained of inexplicably losing money from their mobile phones or bank accounts.

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

The company, called Golden Top Support Services, had employed “unsuspecting” Zambians between the ages of 20 and 25 to use the SIM cards to “engage in deceptive conversations with unsuspecting mobile users on various platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, chat rooms and others, using scripted dialogues,” Banda said in April after the raid. The local population was released on bail.

Exit mobile version