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Zambian court sentences Chinese national over involvement in cyber crimes

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 09 Jun 2024, 09:43 am Print

Zambian court sentences Chinese national over involvement in cyber crimes Zambia

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

A Zambian court has handed over jail terms to 21 Chinese nationals and a Cameronian citizen for their involvement in cyber crimes in the country.

The gang's only female convict, Gu Tianjiao, reportedly cried "papa, papa" as her seven-year sentence was announced in the Lusaka Magistrates Court on Friday, reported BBC.

According to reports, the mastermind of the team Li Xianlin and some other members received jail terms ranging between seven to 11 years.

The members of the group were also fined between $1,500 and $3,000 (£1,180 and £2,360) each.

As per Zambian authorities, the victims belonged to nations like Singapore, Peru and the United Arab Emirates.

The convicts included one female and they were aged between 25 and 51.

In a statement, Zambia's Drug Enforcement Commission said: "These individuals, all residents of Kasangula Road in Roma Township, were arrested on April 9, 2024, by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), on charges related to sophisticated internet fraud schemes."

"The facts of the case, as presented in court, revealed that, on 5th April, 2024, DEC officers received information about individuals operating under an entity called Golden Top Support Services Limited, suspected of engaging in cyber scams," DEC said.

Investigations later found the accused had knowingly and unlawfully used the identities of other persons.

"A digital forensic analysis of the seized devices showed that the accused had created fake identities using a modified version of WhatsApp web, enabling the creation of multiple accounts on a single device. These fake accounts were linked to mobile numbers registered under names of unsuspecting individuals," the statement said.

"Items seized and due for forfeiture to the State in this matter include; 135 Desktop computers, one (01) laptop, 11 sim boxes, a Toyota Alphard Registration Number BAT8373, K13, 143, USD 20, including 17,000 Dinari cash, 37000 SIM cards, one (1) iPad, two (2) Pistols with 73 rounds of Ammunition and twenty-three (23) Cell Phones," the statement further said.