China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed on Tuesday that the 122 Chinese nationals arrested by the police in Nepal are suspected of engaging in cross-border cyber fraud.
According to Chinese Global Television Network, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made remarks after the Nepalese police said 122 Chinese men and women were rounded up in raids on Monday following information that they were engaged in suspicious activities.
CGTN says the case is under investigation, said Geng, terming the raid an important operation conducted under close cooperation between the police of China and Nepal.
China is ready to strengthen cooperation with Nepal in all areas, including law enforcement, to jointly combat cross-border crimes and promote friendly exchanges between the two peoples, added Geng.
According to Nepal Police, majority of the Chinese citizens arrested on Monday were found to be involved in cybercrime. Nepal Police (NP) has given a wider approach to their preliminary investigation, as the Chinese government has been helping them in investigation.
Police on Monday morning had arrested 122 Chinese nationals for their alleged involvement in illegal activities from Budhanilkantha, Manamaiju, New Buspark and Bansbari. This was the biggest ever crackdown against foreign nationals in Kathmandu.
After the police got to know about Chinese nationals residing in groups in various places of the capital city, police had raided houses, apartments and hotels in couple of places.
Police has confiscated over 500 laptops, mobiles and electronic devices from the Chinese nationals. “Investigation is going on the basis of the confiscated devices,” said Sahakul Thapa, Senior Superintendent of Police.
"Each and every arrested person was found to be equipped with laptop, this is questionable," he added. "Most of their visas have expired already."
Thapa said that the arrested Chinese officials were previously involved in cybercrime in Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos and Malaysia.
Thapa said that NP had been verifying their criminal conducts. Case of public offence will be lodged against the Chinese arrestees, said Thapa. 7-days’ time will be added for further investigation, he added.
Cybercrime instigated by Chinese nationals, of late, has been increasing in South-east Asian countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos and Malaysia.