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Indonesian Raid Highlights the Criminal Economy of Chinese Online Scams in Southeast Asia

Some of the 88 Chinese nationals arrested in Indonesia on suspicion of being involved in cross-border telecom and online romance scams. Image: STR / AFP

Indonesian police arrested 88 Chinese citizens on suspicion of being involved in cross-border internet scams following a tip-off from Chinese authorities.

They are accused of running so-called romance scams, where they establish long-term online relationships with netizens in China in order to convince them to transfer money and other assets. The group (which includes five women) was reportedly operating from a shopfront close to the border with Singapore.

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