Zambia Cybercrime: Chinese Nationals Sentenced for Online Scams

In a recent development in Zambia, 22 Chinese citizens and a Cameroonian man have been handed lengthy jail terms for their involvement in cyber-related crimes. The sentencing took place at the Lusaka Magistrates Court, where the gang’s leader, Li Xianlin, received up to 11 years in prison. The only female convict, Gu Tianjiao, expressed her emotions with cries of “papa, papa” as she was sentenced to seven years behind bars. Additionally, the group members were fined between $1,500 and $3,000 each for their offenses.

The cybercrime activities of this group extended beyond Zambia, with victims reported in countries such as Singapore, Peru, and the United Arab Emirates. The charges against the perpetrators included computer-related misrepresentation, identity-related crimes, and illegal operation of a network or service, to which they pleaded guilty after a trial lasting several weeks.

The Drug Enforcement Commission in Zambia highlighted the growing trend of Zambians falling victim to money-laundering schemes, resulting in financial losses from their mobile and bank accounts. The authorities also noted the recruitment of young Zambians as call-center agents in fraudulent activities, including internet fraud and online scams.

The convicted individuals held various roles at the Chinese-run company Golden Top Support Services, located in Lusaka’s upscale suburb of Roma. The company, implicated in the cybercrime activities, is yet to respond to the allegations. During a raid, authorities seized equipment facilitating deceptive conversations, devices for disguising caller locations, thousands of Sim cards, and Sim boxes capable of routing calls across legitimate phone networks. Additionally, firearms, ammunition, and vehicles linked to the business were also confiscated.

This incident sheds light on the prevalence of cybercrime in Africa and the need for stringent measures to combat such illegal activities.

For more updates on cybercrime in Africa and related incidents, stay tuned to reliable news sources.