Police Hold Chinese Nationals for Alleged Credit Card Fraud
Jakarta. Police in Jakarta are hunting down the masterminds behind an international credit card fraud and identity theft syndicate operating in South Jakarta.
Officers raided a home in East Cilandak, South Jakarta, and arrested dozens of Chinese nationals with ties to the group.
“At first we thought [the syndicate] was running an online prostitution scheme,” said the Jakarta Police’s violent crimes unit chief, Adj. Sr. Comr. Herry Heryawan, adding that locals in the area had complained about “suspicious activities” inside the rented house.
One Chinese man died after leaping from the roof to dodge arrest.
The 33 remaining foreigners — 14 women and 19 men — all claimed they were duped into working for the syndicate.
“They are victims. We are still looking for the real perpetrators,” Herry said.
The workers claimed they had been promised work in restaurants and hotels, and never met their employers. All instructions were given by phone, they said.
Some came to Indonesia shortly after Chinese New Year in February, while others have been here since 2014.
The workers claimed they were paid around 2,000 yuan ($322) each a month.
The syndicate reportedly targeted credit card holders from mainland China while posing as bank officials or as call center operators.
Victims were told that the “bank” was experiencing problems with their credit card and asked for the three CVV digits printed on the back.
The workers, who spoke little English and no Indonesian, told police through the help of a translator that they trained only once in Indonesia.
“They were taught what to say to convince their victims. Those who were duped were mostly corrupt government officials. All [the victims] were Chinese,” said translator Kelly Tranoto.
The 33 suspects, none of whom were in possession of their passports, are being detained by immigration.
“We could charge them for violating immigration laws. Some will be deported, some will face trial, while some will remain under custody [for criminal investigation],” said Cucu Koswara, head of the South Jakarta immigration office.
Police are still checking whether they have the jurisdiction to charge the Chinese nationals for fraud and identity theft.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe