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Zambian court sentences 22 Chinese nationals to long prison terms for cybercrimes | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

NEW DELHI: A Zambian court on Friday sentenced 22 Chinese nationals to prison terms ranging from seven to 11 years for their involvement in cybercrimes, including internet fraud and online scams targeting individuals in Zambia, Singapore, Peru, and the United Arab Emirates. The Magistrates Court in Lusaka also imposed fines between $1,500 and $3,000 after the defendants pleaded guilty to charges of computer-related misrepresentation, identity fraud, and operating illegal networks or services. A Cameroonian man was similarly sentenced and fined.

The sentencing followed the arrest of a group of 77 individuals, primarily Zambians, in April, whom police described as part of a “sophisticated internet fraud syndicate.” The operation was led by the drug enforcement commission, which launched an investigation after a surge in cyber-related fraud cases and numerous complaints of money being inexplicably drained from mobile phones and bank accounts.

Authorities, including officers from the commission, police, immigration department, and anti-terrorism unit, raided a Chinese-operated business named Golden Top Support Services in Lusaka’s upscale suburb. During the raid, they seized over 13,000 local and foreign mobile phone SIM cards, two firearms, and 78 rounds of ammunition, and arrested the 77 individuals involved.

Nason Banda, the director-general of the drug enforcement commission, revealed that the business employed unsuspecting Zambians aged between 20 and 25 to engage in fraudulent activities using the SIM cards. These activities included deceptive conversations on platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and chat rooms, guided by scripted dialogues. The local participants were released on bail following their arrest.


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