Mongolia arrests 800 in cybercrime probe

Police in Mongolia arrested roughly 800 Chinese citizens during an anti-money laundering operation, local authorities said on Thursday.

The operation took place in four locations within the capital of Ulaanbaatar-- where hundreds of computers and over 10,000 mobile phone SIM cards were confiscated as part of an investigation into a cybercrime ring.

Following two months of investigations, authorities say the ring likely revolved around illegal gambling, fraud, computer hacking, identity theft, and money laundering, according to Reuters.

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Police in Mongolia arrested roughly 800 Chinese citizens during an anti-money laundering operation in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, local authorities said on Thursday.

Police in Mongolia arrested roughly 800 Chinese citizens during an anti-money laundering operation in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, local authorities said on Thursday. (Ulaanbaatar/Sim Card - iStock)

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

All 800 of the Chinese men detained entered the country on 30-day tourist visas. The Chinese Embassy in Ulaanbaatar said in a statement that they would cooperate with Mongolian authorities.

“The police department of Mongolia has taken the necessary measures in this case and is currently in the process of investigating,” it read. “China and Mongolia will have open law enforcement and security cooperation, and the two parties will be working closely together on this matter.”

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Of the 800 arrested in the probe, only four will be investigated further, along with one Mongolian national.

They will be deported to China, according to local police.

The operation took place a month after 324 undocumented Chinese citizens were arrested in the Philippines for their involvement in online gambling and cyberfraud, according to a notice by the country's immigration bureau.

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Chinese nationals accounted for roughly a third of foreign tourists entering Mongolia this year, Reuters added.