Taiwan arrests Malaysian bus driver for scam

Fraud rings recruit foreign citizens to evade Taiwanese authorities

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A Malaysian visitor was caught withdrawing cash on behalf of a fraud ring in Tainan.

A Malaysian visitor was caught withdrawing cash on behalf of a fraud ring in Tainan. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Malaysian bus driver was arrested by police in Tainan Friday for working as a money mule for a telecom fraud ring.

The 25-year-old ethnic Chinese man, surnamed Yen (顏) according to Taiwanese police, was a former bus driver for foreign tourist groups who had been looking for more stable work, the Central News Agency reported.

While still in Malaysia, he had voluntarily sought contact with fraud rings and found a group prepared to pay for his flight to Taiwan as well as for food and lodging, police said. He arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on June 25 as a tourist.

However, on his first job on behalf of his new employers, Yen aroused suspicion when he withdrew a total of NT$105,800 (US$3,470) in three times from an ATM at a supermarket in Tainan City’s Anping area, CNA reported.

Staff called the police, who followed him to a second supermarket and arrested him as he was about to make more withdrawals.

Yen had planned to spend 20 days in Taiwan, earning NT$1,000 (US$32.7) to NT$2,000 a day, reports said.

A Malaysian couple which was arrested at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on June 28 belonged to the same group, according to police. Taiwanese fraud rings were recruiting Malaysians because local perpetrators were fingerprinted and therefore easy to locate, while foreigners would be able to leave the country quickly.