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Seven Suspects Extradited from Myanmar to China in an Online Scam Case

Myanmar authorities have extradited seven individuals suspected of involvement in online scams targeting Chinese citizens to Beijing, as reported by state media on Thursday.

These criminal syndicates are accused of either abducting or enticing citizens from China and other countries into lawless regions along Myanmar’s northern and eastern borders, where they are coerced into engaging in online scams.

Typically, these scammers focus on their fellow countrymen, grooming them over several weeks before persuading them to invest money into fraudulent schemes and fake investment platforms.

On Wednesday, two suspects were handed over to Chinese authorities at Yangon International Airport, as confirmed by a statement in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar. The statement mentioned that one of the individuals held a significant role in the realm of telecom fraud, though it did not provide further details.

On Thursday, five more suspects were handed over to Chinese authorities, as reported by the Chinese embassy in Yangon. According to the embassy’s statement, these suspects enticed victims to a fictitious online investment platform and encouraged them to make substantial investments after initially providing them with small profits. The suspects have now been transferred to China.

This development follows the extradition of six other individuals involved in online scams from Myanmar to China in June, as reported by the state-run newspaper.

These recent arrests come after China, in July, urged Myanmar’s junta to eliminate scam operations in its lawless border regions that specifically target Chinese citizens.

These scams have provoked anger in Beijing, a significant ally and arms supplier to the internationally isolated junta.

Numerous victims have come forward, sharing harrowing accounts of traveling to Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos based on deceitful promises of romance or lucrative employment opportunities, only to find themselves detained and coerced into engaging in online scams that targeted their fellow countrymen.

The Global New Light and a statement from the embassy indicated that authorities from China, Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos had conducted a “special operation” aimed at cracking down on online scammers. However, they did not specify whether this operation directly resulted in the recent arrests.

In a noteworthy development from June, Thailand took the significant step of cutting off electricity supplies to a Myanmar border town. This town had gained notoriety for hosting a billion-dollar development project that analysts believe serves as a front for illegal gambling and online scam operations.

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