Law enforcers across south east Asia have conducted a co-ordinated raid on nearly 600 people suspected of an international online fraud which may have conned thousands out of their hard-earned cash.
A report on AFP said that the raid nabbed 410 Taiwanese and 181 Chinese nationals across Taiwan, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
The scammers targeted mainland Chinese web users over the internet and telephone, and more than 800 police were called in to arrest the suspects in Taiwan, where TW$1.33m ($458,000) in cash was confiscated.
The incident raises a couple of interesting points about the cyber security ecosystem in the region.
First, as China's ambassador to the UK pleaded a fortnight ago, the country is a victim of cyber attack. This is only likely to get worse for China as its GDP grows and its citizens are seen as easy pickings by cyber criminals keen to get the biggest return on investment from their efforts.
The relative social, linguistic and cultural homogeneity of the country, for example, makes it easier for cyber criminals to target one scam at a large population, unlike in Europe where scams have to be tailored for language and cultural differences in each region.
A second point to note is the co-ordinated effort on the part of law enforcement to catch the suspected crooks.
If police across Europe and Russia worked in similar ways, the threat of capture might deter many cyber criminals, or at least send a stronger message to those currently acting with impunity in the great unknown borderless ether of cyber space.
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