Indonesia arrests dozens of Chinese over online scam

Dozens of Chinese nationals have been arrested in Indonesia over an online scam that bilked victims out of millions of dollars, authorities said Tuesday.

Acting on a tip-off from their Chinese counterparts, Indonesian police said they conducted a half dozen raids Monday evening in the capital Jakarta and Malang city, arresting 85 Chinese nationals and six Indonesians.

The roundup comes several days after almost 700 Chinese nationals were arrested in neighbouring Malaysia where authorities raided a building and busted a major online investment scam operation.

It was not immediately clear if the busts were related.

On Tuesday, Indonesian police said the suspects targeted victims in mainland China and netted some 36 billion rupiah ($2.6 million) over a period of four months. They did not say how many people were scammed.

“They pretended to be police or prosecutors and called their victims, telling them that they had legal problems and demanded money to settle the issue,” said Jakarta police chief Gatot Eddy Pramono.

“Some of them also pretended to be bankers offering investments,” he added.

Police also seized evidence including laptops and computers, Gatot said.

Some scammers have moved to Indonesia and other regional countries after China cracked down on their networks, according to Gatot.