31 Taiwanese nationals were arrested in Indonesia on April 12 after a raid by local police brought about allegations of their involvement in cyber fraud.
The arrests took place in an upscale residential area in Balikpapan, Kalimantan, where 42 suspects, including 31 Taiwanese, were taken into custody. According to Jeffri Dian, Balikpapan’s police chief, equipment and devices that were likely being used in an operation to defraud Taiwanese and Chinese nationals were also seized.
According to police, the suspects were found to have entered the country on April 3, and only 12 of them had valid passports and visas.
Indonesian police suspect the fraud ring was led by a Taiwanese national, using Indonesia as a base for cybercrime against Taiwanese and Chinese citizens.
Focus Taiwan reports that according to a Taiwanese official based in Indonesia, there have been many cases of Taiwanese and Chinese nationals entering Indonesia to engage in telecom fraud.
In August, Indonesian law enforcement, in cooperation with Taiwanese and Chinese police, busted an Indonesia-based international fraud ring, which resulted in the arrest of 82 Taiwanese suspects. In this raid, Rp.10 billion (US$762,994) in cash was seized.
A Taiwanese official in Indonesia said in recent years there has been an increase in the number of young Taiwanese adults being recruited for telecom fraud, with ringleaders offering high pay and bonuses to their successful employees. Many of the women arrested during the raid claim to be unaware they were engaging in cyber fraud, instead claiming the job description advertised simply taking phone calls.