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China teams up with Thailand and Laos to tackle cybercriminals in Myanmar who often target Chinese nationals | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

The four countries have set up a coordination centre in Chiang Mai for police cooperation in tackling cyber crime gangs, a statement following the meeting said.

The multinational cooperation drive is the latest in China’s efforts to root out Myanmar-based gangs that frequently target Chinese nationals, luring them with investment ruses, or promises of love or jobs, and then detaining them and forcing them to work as online scammers.

Senior Chinese officials, including former foreign minister Qin Gang and ambassador Chen, have urged Myanmar to do more to eradicate the groups behind the scams, which often involve Chinese criminals in cahoots with local gangs.

Beijing has faced renewed pressure to tackle the menace in recent weeks, after a hit Chinese film featuring Southeast Asian cyber scams and human trafficking sparked widespread outrage on social media.

Crime action film No More Bets, inspired by the rampant online fraud cases, tells the story of Chinese youth facing inhumane treatment after being lured and trapped into a cyber scam production line in Southeast Asia, with their lives placed at risk.

Released on August 8, the film has already earned more than 3 billion yuan (US$41.4 million), consistently topping the box office during the competitive summer movie season.


China vows to actively search and rescue Hong Kong residents allegedly scammed in Southeast Asia

With cyber scams and human trafficking in Myanmar attracting public attention in China, more cases have been publicised on social media in recent weeks.

Chinese media often broadcast reports of well-organised gangs operating in Myanmar that lure Chinese to cross the border illegally, with police in several cities in China urging citizens to stay vigilant.

The latest case in the spotlight involved a youngster from southern Guangdong province who went missing for 20 days after entering Myanmar last month.

The 20-year-old, surnamed Chen, returned home last week after his parents reportedly paid a ransom to a gang in Myanmar’s Kokang region, which borders China’s southwestern Yunnan province and is notorious as a major cyber crime base.

Investigations are ongoing, and Chinese police said some arrests had been made.

In unrelated cases, six Chinese fraud suspects from Myanmar were escorted back to China on Wednesday, state-owned broadcaster CCTV reported, with one of them reportedly the leader of a gang.

In June, six Chinese scam suspects were arrested and escorted back to China under a joint security action between China, Thailand and Myanmar.


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