Ho Chi Minh City police have busted another big illicit international telecoms fraud gang.
The Vietnamese government says that estimated loss to the state caused by the illegal activities of the ring is US$625,000, while the police say the recent bust broke-up the biggest illegal telecoms racket discovered in recent years.
It seems that after several months of staking out the gang, the police raided a house in District 12 of Ho Chi Minh City and caught Qiu Yu Yao, 25, operating the surreptitious telecoms service. Modems, VoIP gateways, patch panels, and 24 Cityphone mobile phone SIM cards were seized in the raid.
A police spokesman said the ring had hacked into international calling services such as Skype, Windows Live Call, and Webcall Direct to steal calling time from subscribers and then used the purloined minutes to make international calls.
The gang collected fees for these calls from its “clients.”
It is reported that Qiu has also confessed there were two Chinese nationals in the gang as well as 11 other Vietnamese citizens. Police say other members of the gang remain at large but will be caught.
Police say that while the ring was a sophisticated illegal exercise there was considerable potential for it to do even more economic damage to the country by hacking-in to the
networks of major telecom groups.
Meanwhile, press reports say the courts have rejected the appeal against sentence made by a previously convicted telecoms fraud mastermind, a Chinese national by the name of Song Long Guo. The main court in Ho Chi Minh City has upheld Guo's sentence of ten years in jail for heading an illicit international telecoms service that caused "heavy financial losses to the state."
Since 1999, Vietnamese police have busted at least 50 such international calling rackets.
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