Zambia discovers a 'sophisticated' Chinese cybercrime ring – Global News (Trending Perfect)

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A “sophisticated online fraud ring” has been uncovered in Zambia, leading to the arrest of 77 people, including 22 Chinese nationals.

After a multi-agency raid on a Chinese-run company, authorities said it was a “major achievement in the war against cybercrime.”

The company employed Zambians who believed they were call center agents.

Among the equipment confiscated were devices that allow callers to hide their locations and thousands of SIM cards.

Golden Top Support Services, the company at the center of the raid, has not commented on the allegations.

The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) led the raid on the company's headquarters, located in Roma, an upscale suburb of the capital, Lusaka, and the police, immigration department and anti-terrorism unit also participated.

Nason Banda, Director-General of the Narcotics Control Commission, said after Tuesday's raid that it followed months of intelligence gathering by agencies following the alarming rise in online fraud cases in Zambia.

He said Golden Top Support Services recruited “unsuspecting” Zambians between the ages of 20 and 25.

They were tasked with “engaging in deceptive conversations with unsuspecting mobile phone users across various platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, chat rooms, etc., using scripted dialogues.”

During the operation, 11 SIM boxes were found, which are devices that can route calls in a way that bypasses legitimate phone networks.

This allows them to be used “in fraudulent activities, including online fraud and Internet scams,” Panda said.

The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration said that more than 13,000 local and international SIM cards were confiscated, which confirms “the scope of the operation.”

He added that an increasing number of Zambians are losing money from their bank accounts through money laundering schemes, although the alleged “illicit operations” of these scams extend beyond Zambia’s borders.

Evidence suggests that people have been targeted in countries such as Singapore, Peru, the United Arab Emirates and others across Africa.

Two firearms and approximately 78 rounds of ammunition were confiscated, and two vehicles belonging to a Chinese citizen linked to this work were seized.

Banda said the Zambian nationals have been charged and released on bail so they can assist the authorities in their investigations.

The foreign nationals – 22 Chinese men and a Cameroonian – remain in detention.

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