44 Taiwanese deported over Internet scam

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 24 2014 11:46 PM | Updated as of Apr 25 2014 07:46 AM

TAIPEI - The Philippines on Thursday deported 44 Taiwanese accused of online and phone scams targeting mainland Chinese, Taiwanese officials said.

The suspects were from two rings busted in Manila last August and early this month.

They were escorted to Taiwan by four Filipino immigration officials on two flights, Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau said.

"They will be investigated by two prosecutors' offices tasked with probing the scam," said Billy Huang, a police officer from the bureau.

Giving one example of the scam, Huang said a cashier at a school in China's eastern province of Shandong had been targeted.

He had been duped by the suspects who were pretending to be post office or police officials and had wired 470,000 yuan ($75,250) to a bank account controlled by the gang.

More than 400 Taiwanese have now been arrested and deported from the Philippines for involvement in such scams since 2012.

In the face of stepped-up crackdowns in the Philippines, gangs from Taiwan and China have also set up bases in other Southeast Asian countries as well as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Huang said.