Mainland police say they have cracked China’s largest phone scam – involving 117 million yuan (HK$140 million) – and that key suspects are Taiwanese, complicating a disagreement between Beijing and Taipei over jurisdiction in such cases. The public security bureau of Guizhou province had arrested 62 suspects, 10 of whom were Taiwanese, following a four-month investigation, China Central Television reported yesterday. A financial executive in an economic development zone in the city of Duyun was contacted in December by people claiming to represent banks and public security bureaus. They convinced the executive, surnamed Yang, that bank accounts he managed were suspected of involvement in crime and needed to be investigated. Beijing steps up war of words with Taiwan over freed phone scam suspects deported from Malaysia Within a week, the fraudsters had transferred 117 million yuan from two accounts managed by Yang, state media reported. Police traced the calls to a den in Uganda and suspended 10,000 accounts. Clues gleaned from the case helped police solve a further 180 phone scams that had affected 26 provinces, state media said. Four officials at the Duyun economic development zone have been arrested and the local Communist Party’s anti-graft agency has launched an investigation into suspected cadres. It is the latest phone scam on the mainland to involve Taiwanese suspects, and could potentially escalate a row between Beijing and Taipei over jurisdiction in such cases. The Ministry of Public Security said last week that Taiwanese were heavily involved in telecoms fraud on the mainland and had caused huge losses. More than 10 billion yuan was swindled out of mainland companies and individuals and siphoned to Taiwan every year, but mainland police had so far recovered only 200,000 yuan from the island, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported. Xinhua claimed there were 100,000 Taiwanese actively engaged in telecoms fraud. ‘Indignant’ Taiwan to send officials to Beijing to negotiate release of nationals deported from Kenya for alleged phone scam Taipei angered Beijing this month by releasing 20 Taiwanese who had been deported from Malaysia on suspicion of a phone scam targeting mainland residents. It later detained 18 suspects after receiving evidence from Beijing. Tensions grew this week when Beijing took custody of 77 telecoms fraud suspects, including 45 Taiwanese, who had been deported from Kenya. The suspects are accused of swindling millions of yuan from mainland residents, some of whom are reported to have killed themselves after losing their life savings. Beijing said the Taiwanese suspects in the Kenyan case had confessed and would be prosecuted and tried according to mainland laws. Taiwan has sent a delegation to Beijing to discuss the issue. The Ministry of Public Security would never allow those guilty of telecoms fraud to go unpunished, vice-minister Meng Hongwei said on Thursday.