China to set up ‘restricted zone’ near Myanmar border to stop human trafficking by cybercrime gangs

Authorities in southwestern China’s Yunnan province have announced they will set up a restricted zone near the Myanmar border in an attempt to prevent human trafficking by telecoms fraud gangs that target Chinese nationals.

From October 1 until the end of this year, the city of Tengchong will control the entry of people and vehicles into the zone, according to a notice issued by local authorities on Tuesday.

The zone aims to track and manage the flow of people and vehicles to reduce the risk of cross-border human trafficking and telecoms fraud operations in northern Myanmar.

Police in China and Myanmar detain 269 in cyber scam crackdown

Chinese law enforcement agencies have sought new ways to fight overseas fraud rings that target Chinese nationals. For example, police in multiple Chinese cities have urged citizens to block all incoming overseas calls if they are not regularly in contact with people outside mainland China.
Myanmar shares its northeastern border with Yunnan province. Northern Myanmar is a mountainous area plagued by civil unrest. The county-level city of Tengchong in western Yunnan borders Myanmar’s Kachin State.
Beijing has called on Myanmar to crack down on criminal groups that target Chinese nationals and lure victims across the border.
Last month, China vowed to work with Thailand and Laos through a special cooperative mechanism to crack down on Myanmar-based cybercrime gangs.

According to the notice on Tuesday, people and vehicles that need to enter the zone should obtain documents showing their purpose and register with local authorities.

Officers at joint defence border stations would be responsible for registering and checking individuals and vehicles entering the zone, the notice said.

Residents who need to enter the zone for farming or grazing should obtain a certificate from their residential communities. They, along with others who need to enter the zone for work, such as forest rangers, must register with nearby joint defence offices every month.

Other workers involved in construction and maintenance projects or the logging industry must obtain certificates from their supervisors and register every two weeks.

The notice added that military units and police stations conducting duties would not be subject to the checks.


Why are these Southeast Asian countries burning drugs?

Why are these Southeast Asian countries burning drugs?

In recent years, Chinese law enforcement agencies have conducted a series of crackdowns targeting criminal gangs in Myanmar that lure Chinese citizens to the country with investment schemes and promises of love or employment.

The victims are typically detained and forced to work as phone operators, computer programmers and other jobs as part of online scams.

Earlier this month, China’s Ministry of Public Security announced that a joint operation between Beijing and the Southeast Asian country brought down 11 criminal bases in northern Myanmar, where 269 fraud suspects were detained, including 186 Chinese nationals who have been repatriated.


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