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Telecom crimes to be punished more severely


12-22-2016 03:43 BJT

Telecom and online fraudsters will face heavier punishments if their behavior causes death or long-term mental distress. China's Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security made the announcement earlier this week.

China's new fraud guideline calls for heavier penalties under 10 circumstances, including: causing the death of a victim, cheating the disabled or the elderly, and pretending to be an official. The number of telecom fraud cases and online scams has soared in the past few years. China has uncovered over 93,000 cases of telecom and online fraud so far this year.

Twice the number in 2015. 52,000 offenders were caught. The new guideline clearly defines fraud amounts. 3,000 yuan or more is considered a "relatively large amount", while 30,000 yuan or more is defined as a "huge amount". If fraudsters steal a "huge" amount of money or their behavior is deemed serious enough, a Chinese court can sentence them to life behind bars.

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