China’s War on Online Fraud: 34,000 Prosecuted in 2023, Marking a 52% Surge
Supreme People’s Procuratorate strengthens large-scale crackdown
Over half are highly educated professionals
China has seen a 52% surge in online fraud cases this year compared to last, according to a report by China News Network on November 30.
Based on data released by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, from January to October this year, the number of online fraudsters prosecuted by People’s Procuratorates across the country totaled over 34,000, marking a 52% increase compared to the same period last year.
The Supreme People’s Procuratorate pointed out that while online fraudsters were predominantly young, low-income, and less educated in the past, there has been a growing trend of highly educated individuals involved in such crimes.
In the first quarter of this year alone, the number of highly educated individuals with at least a professional degree who People’s Procuratorates prosecuted nationwide for charges related to online fraud, including execution, aiding, and abetting, reached nearly 18,000.
In response to the rise in online fraud crimes in bordering countries, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate has directed law enforcement to relentlessly pursue and arrest fraudsters abroad, actively prosecute them, seek heavy sentences, and focus on confiscating illegally acquired funds. It has also emphasized the need to enhance public awareness to prevent involvement in or victimization by online fraud.
Meanwhile, Chinese prosecutors and public security forces have launched a large-scale crackdown on online fraud targeting Chinese citizens, which is rampant in border areas such as Myanmar.
In April, authorities in Nanchong, Sichuan Province, arrested 430 individuals linked to a Myanmar-based organization involved in online fraud activities and prosecuted all of them.
Since September, in cooperation with local authorities in Myanmar, a crackdown on online fraud crimes in northern Myanmar, adjacent to Yunnan Province, has been underway. So far, authorities have arrested and deported 31,000 Chinese nationals involved in online fraud, including 63 key figures and leaders of criminal organizations.
By. Lee Hyun Joo