Taiwan and United States cooperate to nab fraud ring

ICE deported 19 suspects to Taiwan

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Phones used by Taiwanese fraud suspects in the US.

Phones used by Taiwanese fraud suspects in the US. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – For the first time, Taiwan and the United States cooperated to catch 19 alleged members of a Taiwanese fraud ring operating in the U.S., the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) said Wednesday (August 28).

The bureau’s Taichung office announced that two years, it had learned that a couple had been recruiting young people to set up fraud operations in Hungary, Ireland and Chile, the Central News Agency reported. The group never stayed longer in one place than three months, and would move around asking travel agency staff to help them find new quarters.

However, last April, MJIB was notified that the group had entered the U.S. and moved into a villa in Los Angeles with the help of a Taiwanese businessman working in California. During the two months they operated there, they managed to defraud NT$90 million (US$2.86 million) from targets in China, CNA reported.

Taiwan asked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to cooperate, and their action resulted in the detention of 19 suspects. All of them were gradually deported to Taiwan in June and July, according to MJIB.

On the island, the authorities impounded four cars, including a Ferrari and a Maserati, diamonds, watches and other luxury products belonging to the couple running the fraud ring.

In most previous cases, the countries where Taiwanese scammers operated deported the suspects to China, but in the recent cases, Portugal and the U.S. cooperated with Taiwan.