TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Police in Myanmar last week uncovered a criminal enterprise involving three seperate gangs of Chinese nationals preying on their fellow Chinese compatriots.
According to a Liberty Times report, 22 Chinese suspects were arrested by Myanmar law enforcement authorities under charges of suspected smuggling, extortion, and kidnapping of at least 27 victims, also Chinese, that were being held against their will in the country.
The Chinese crime ring was reportedly offering incentives such as free air tickets, vacation packages, and promises of financial gain, in an attempt to lure unsuspecting victims to visit Myanmar.
Once the victims were in the country, they were then seized by the one of the groups, who would force them to pay a ransom, or force them to collect money from relatives in China, in order to secure their release.
According to the Liberty Times report, the victims that were captured in Myanmar were held against their will in poor living conditions, lacking adequate food and water. The report says that some of the victims were found restrained and showed signs of having been beaten by their captors.
Other victims were also reportedly forced to act as drug mules traveling across national borders, or between regions in Myanmar.
The 22 gang members and the 27 victims discovered by Myanmar police have been turned over to Chinese police in Yunnan, who are reportedly carrying out a broad investigation to determine if there are any accomplices of the crime ring residing in China.