Police have nabbed 16 members of a voice phishing ring based in China, officials said Thursday.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA), in cooperation with the Chinese police, has arrested three Chinese nationals and 13 Koreans for allegedly extorting 2.7 billion won (US$2 million) from 68 people through voice phishing scams from December 2022 through August.
The police launched an investigation in April after receiving a report complaining of financial damage from the phishing scam and detained three Korean suspects residing in the country.
The Chinese police detained 12 other members, along with the ringleader, at the ring's office in Qingdao on Aug. 24, following a request for cooperation by the Korean police.
The ringleader, known to be a 38-year-old Chinese man, reportedly hired members of the scam group after setting up the Qingdao office last December.
The police said the ringleader, along with the other Chinese members, admitted to beating one of the Korean members, identified only as Kim, after he told them he wished to exit the group. Kim was later arrested by South Korean police after arriving in the country to get treatment for his injuries.
The police plan to make a request to the Chinese authorities for the suspects' repatriation.
Including the latest case, the police have nabbed 42 members from 11 scam groups based overseas and formally arrested 19 of them so far, according to the officials.
Source: Yonhap News Agency