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20 Chinese Nationals and One Cameroonian Convicted in Major Cyber Crime Case

WhatsApp Image 2024-06-13 at 8.23.57 AM

In a significant development, 20 Chinese nationals and one Cameroonian have been convicted for their involvement in a sophisticated cyber crime operation run under the guise of Golden Top Support Services Limited. The convicted individuals faced charges under the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act No. 2 of 2021 and the Information and Communication Technologies Act No. 15 of 2009. Their offences included computer-related misrepresentation, identity-related crimes, and operating an unlicenced network.

The investigation commenced on April 5, 2024, when officers from the Drug Enforcement Commission were alerted to suspicious activities occurring at Golden Top Support Services Limited in Kalundu. Acting on this intelligence, officers conducted a search of the premises, leading to the seizure of 135 personal computers, 1 laptop, a Toyota Alphard, 37,000 SIM cards, an iPad, 2 pistols with 73 rounds of ammunition, ZMW 13,143.00, $20.00, 17,000 Dinars, 23 cell phones, and 11 SIM boxes.

Investigations revealed that the accused were creating fake identities using a modified version of WhatsApp web to manage multiple accounts on a single device. These fake identities were used to deceive unsuspecting victims into investing in fraudulent schemes. The perpetrators posed as employees of multinational companies like Google and Gemini, assigning marketing tasks to their victims and later luring them into investing via Telegram. Fake proof of payments, generated using Photoshop, were used to further deceive victims.

Additionally, it was discovered that the accused were operating an unlicenced mobile network. Analysis by the Zambia Information and Communication Telecommunications Authority (ZICTA) found that the SIM boxes contained multiple SIM cards used to bypass and divert calls from licensed mobile network operators for financial gain. The SIM cards were registered under stolen identities, with many individuals unaware that their personal information had been used.

Further investigations at the Road and Transport Agency revealed that the Toyota Alphard used in the operations was registered to one of the accused, Enxin Bai. Bai informed the officers that the vehicle was purchased by Li Xianlin specifically for running the company’s operations.

The convictions resulted in consecutive custodial sentences of up to 11 years for the accused. These sentences are seen as a significant deterrent and reflect the serious nature of the crimes committed.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threat posed by cyber crime and the importance of vigilance and robust law enforcement to protect the public from such sophisticated schemes.

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