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Mongolia arrests 800 Chinese citizens

October 31, 2019

Authorities believe the suspects were involved in an online gambling operation "linked to money laundering." The Chinese embassy has offered to assist Mongolian authorities as part of wider "security cooperation."

Overcast skies in Mongolian capital Ulan Bator
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/V. Astapkovich

Police in Mongolia arrested some 800 Chinese men during an anti-money laundering operation, authorities said on Thursday.

The operation targeted four locations across the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator. More than 10,000 mobile phone SIM cards were confiscated along with over 1,000 computers.

Authorities said the suspects were part of a cybercrime ring that likely revolved around online gambling.

"As of this moment, we suspect they are linked to money laundering," said Gerel Doripalam, who heads the Mongolian General Intelligence Authority. "We are looking into the matter."

Read more: North Korea's murky links to international cybercrime

'Working closely together'

The Chinese embassy in Ulan Bator said it would cooperate with Mongolian authorities.

"China and Mongolia will have open law enforcement and security cooperation, and the two parties will be working closely together on this matter," the Chinese embassy said.

Of the 800 Chinese citizens, only four will be investigated further along with one Mongolian national. All of the suspects entered Mongolia on 30-day tourist visas in August. They will be deported to China, according to police.

Last month, the Philippines arrested more than 600 Chinese nationals in the span of week for involvement in online gambling and cybercrime operations.

Read more: Darknet cybercrime servers hosted in former NATO bunker in Germany

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ls/rt (Reuters, AFP)