FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a paramilitary police officer keeping watch outside the Myanmar embassy in Beijing, China, August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

BEIJING — Myanmar authorities have handed over more than 31,000 telecom fraud suspects to China since authorities in both countries launched a crackdown on online fraud in September, Chinese authorities said Tuesday.

The suspects included 63 “financiers” and crime syndicate leaders who swindled Chinese citizens out of large sums of money, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement.

“The crackdown has achieved significant battle results,” the ministry said.

More than 100,000 people engage in telecommunications fraud every day in at least 1,000 fraud centers in Myanmar, which borders southwest China, Chinese state media reported.

Chinese police began cracking down on fraud in September, and this month police launched what they considered to be “swipe raids” against criminal gangs in Myanmar.

The leader of a Myanmar gang committed suicide last week while fleeing from Myanmar authorities, Chinese police said. Three members of his gang were later handed over to Chinese police.

With the rise of telecommunications scams in Myanmar targeting Chinese citizens, Deputy Foreign Minister Nong Rong visited Myanmar this month, saying China was ready to work with Myanmar to combat cross-border crime, including online gambling.

Nong also said China supported Myanmar in maintaining stability on their common border as Myanmar’s junta fought insurgents in the area.

Myanmar’s ruling military faces attacks on multiple fronts across its borders as an alliance of ethnic minority insurgent groups combines with pro-democracy fighters to challenge the junta’s rule.

China called for peace.

“China has played a constructive role in its own way to promote peace talks and urge relevant parties to put the people’s interests first, cease fire and end the war as quickly as possible,” said a China spokesperson. Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.


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