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Penang fraud gang 'ringleader' snared by Taiwan police

Gang man Huang banged up

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The suspected ringleader of an internet and telephone fraud gang based in Penang, Malaysia, has been nabbed by police after being lured to Taiwan by his former gang-mates, it has emerged.

A Taiwanese man known as Huang was reportedly arrested at Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei as he re-entered the country at the end of January, two weeks after over 30 of his alleged gang mates were nicked during Penang raids earlier that month.

Taiwanese police are said to have used 10 members of the gang arrested in the earlier raids to persuade Huang to come back to the country.

The gang, which reportedly comprised Taiwanese, Malaysian and Chinese nationals and was nicknamed the “Macau Cheats”, may have coined in as much as NT$400m (£8.6m) in nearly two years.

Members of the gang were recruited though newspaper and internet ads offering to pay large sums for telephone sales staff based in Malaysia.

However, the actual role entailed them cold-calling mainly Chinese nationals, pretending to be bank workers, police officers and other officials and persuading the victim to transfer funds to accounts owned by the fraudsters.

Separately, local news has reported that Penang police have seized over 1,000 computerised gambling machines already this year in an attempt to crack a large-scale syndicate operating illegal gambling premises disguised as cyber cafes.

According to the New Straits Times, such operations remain widespread despite a concerted police crackdown because of the large sums on offer. Gambling ringleaders can expect to make upwards of £370,000 a year, the reports suggested. ®

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