Zambia: 22 Chinese and one Cameroonian indicted for cybercrime Zambia: 22 Chinese and one Cameroonian indicted for cybercrime

Zambia: 22 Chinese and one Cameroonian indicted for cybercrime

Zambia: 22 Chinese and one Cameroonian indicted for cybercrime
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A Zambian court on Friday sentenced 22 Chinese nationals to prison terms for cybercrime, including online fraud and scams targeting Zambians and others from Singapore, Peru and the United Arab Emirates.

The magistrate's court in the capital, Lusaka, sentenced them to prison terms ranging from 7 to 11 years.

The court also fined them between $1,500 and $3,000 after they pleaded guilty Wednesday to making false computer statements, identity theft and illegal exploitation of a network or service. .

A man from Cameroon was also sentenced to prison and fined for the same offenses.

They were among a group of 77 people, the majority of them Zambians, arrested in April as part of what police described as a "sophisticated internet fraud syndicate".

Ali Kingston Mwila, a cybersecurity analyst, said: “In the past, we have seen criminals walk free after committing similar crimes.”

Anti-Drug Commission director-general Nason Banda said the investigations began after authorities noted an increase in the number of cyber fraud cases and many people complained of inexplicably losing money. money on their cell phone or bank account.

In April, officers from the commission, police, the immigration department and the anti-terrorism unit raided a Chinese business in an upscale Lusaka suburb, arresting all 77 people, including those who were incarcerated on Friday.

Authorities recovered more than 13,000 local and foreign mobile phone SIM cards, two firearms and 78 rounds of ammunition during the raid.

The company, named Golden Top Support Services, had employed "unsuspecting" Zambians aged between 20 and 25 to use the SIM cards to engage in "deceptive conversations with unsuspecting mobile phone users on various platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, chat rooms and others, using scripted dialogues,” Mr. Banda said in April after the raid.

The residents were released on bail.

Mwila said questions remained unanswered so far in this particular case.

“If we look at the crime as it is, we were not told how much they stole, nor were we told what guns and ammunition they had, how they were used,” he said. -he adds.

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