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Taiwanese scammers could face up to 20 years in Australian jail

Taiwanese scammers could face up to 20 years in Australian jail

Three Taiwanese con artists could face up to 20 years in prison in Australia after being arrested by police there for allegedly operating telephone scam schemes in that country, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said Tuesday.

The three men, suspected of being the masterminds of two fraud groups, ordered scores of accomplices, also from Taiwan, to make the scam phone calls, but were caught when Australian police broke into their houses in Brisbane during two raids in August and September, Bob Chen, deputy director-general of MOFA's Department of East Asian Affairs, told a regular news briefing.

The three suspects have been detained by the Australian authorities and now face sentences of up to 20 years if it can be proved that they pressed others into servitude, Chen said.

During a third raid that took place Nov. 18., 27 Taiwanese citizens were also caught by Australian police on suspicion of running a fraud network, according to Chen. It was discovered that 25 of them were staying in Australia as part of a work holiday program. One was on a transit visa and one was on a tourist visa, he added.

Many of the scores of Taiwanese passport holders involved in the three fraudulent schemes are aged under 30, Chen pointed out, urging Taiwanese nationals to behave themselves overseas and to stay on high alert against being duped by criminal organizations.

Updated : 2021-09-25 08:25 GMT+08:00