Nepal arrests 122 Chinese over suspected cyber scam

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 25 2019 09:44 PM

Detained Chinese men cover their faces as they walk into a police station in Kathmandu, Nepal December 24, 2019. Navesh Chitrakar, Reuters

KATHMANDU, Nepal - More than 100 Chinese nationals in Nepal on tourist visas have been detained over a suspected cyber scam, police said Wednesday, in the country's largest-ever crackdown involving foreigners.

Eight women were among the 122 Chinese nationals arrested in a coordinated police raid on nine houses in the capital Kathmandu on Monday.

Police said the houses were set up like hostels with large kitchens, bunk beds and rows of tables and chairs for working.

"We suspect they were involved in cybercrime. We are investigating the evidence... action will then be taken accordingly," Niraj Bahadur Shahi, chief of Nepal's Central Investigation Bureau, told AFP.

More than 700 mobile phones, 331 laptops and nearly a hundred desktop computers were confiscated from the houses. Police also gathered pen drives and SIM cards.

Nepal coordinated with Beijing's National Central Bureau in the operation, Shahi added.

The arrests come days after more than 330 Chinese nationals were arrested in the Philippines in a raid on unlicensed gaming businesses.

And last month almost 700 Chinese nationals were arrested in Malaysia when authorities busted a major online investment scam operation. It is not clear whether the arrests are linked.