‘Anti-scam fighter’ arrested in China on allegations of scam-related crimes

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Xin’s Douyin account inactive for month

On social media, Xin has several related Douyin accounts. Among them, the account with 400,000 followers, last updated on 10 December 2023.

The video content displayed Xin Weilin at a signing ceremony. As of today, it has been a month since the last update.

In recent day, Xin’s story of abducted to Myawaddy has raised skepticism among China online community.

Xin told the media that during a business trip to Kunming, China, in September 2022, he encountered a seemingly enthusiastic fellow traveller named Yang Fei, who persistently urged him to explore a tourism project in Thailand.

Enticed by the potential business opportunities in Thailand, especially with the forthcoming lifting of COVID-19 border restrictions, Mr Xin agreed to pay a visit.

Upon arriving in Thailand and boarding a vehicle prepared by his “friend” at the airport, Xin claimed that he was drugged and abducted, the drugs concealed within a seemingly innocent bottle of mineral water.

He was then sold for 300,000 RMB (approximately US$41,039) to a small scam company operating within the Myawaddy scam center.

Mr Xin recounted that on 13 November 2022, around 5 a.m., he seized an opportunity under the cover of pre-dawn darkness to leap from the approximately 5-meter-high compound wall, resulting in multiple fractures.

Following his escape from the compound, Mr Xin found himself under the control of various groups. He was handed to police by a father and son who rescued him, and later sold by the  corrupt officers, then ended to a Burmese general.

After negotiations, his family agreed to pay 80,000 RMB to secure his release, and on 27 Nov, he successfully crossed the river into Thailand but was subsequently detained in the Mekong Immigration Detention Center and later transferred to the Bangkok Immigration Detention Center.

However, Chinese netizens have raised numerous skeptical points, including questioning why Xin didn’t report to Chinese authorities, as the police should be able to identify the “friend” who scammed him on the train, given that high-speed train tickets are now under a real-name system.

Even if “Yang Fei” used a false name, the police could investigate relevant clues based on Xin Weilin’s seating arrangement that day.

Some netizens have also pointed out on Facebook an account allegedly using the same name and profile picture as Xin.

The Facebook account uploaded photos on 22  September 2022, the second day Xin claimed to have been drugged and abducted. By this time, he should have already been “kidnapped” to the Myanmar-Thailand border.

In a Douyin video on 30 September 2023, Xin refuted the claim that the Facebook account belonged to him.

He alleged that there could be a possibility that his phone was compromised and stolen by scam syndicate when he was kidnapped in Myawaddy, leading to the creation of the Facebook account. “

None of the photos shared on the fake account were taken in Thailand,” he claimed.

On 9 January, China authorities announced that in response to telecom fraud crimes involving the northern region of Myanmar and targeting China, they have deployed and advanced border law enforcement cooperation, conducting multiple rounds of crackdown operations.

“As of now, local law enforcement authorities in the northern region of Myanmar have handed over 41,000 suspected criminals to our side.”

From the current situation, among these suspected criminals, some were deceived into the fraud centers, but the majority actually went voluntarily.

They reached overseas fraud centers through illegal border crossings to engage in fraudulent activities.

According to the investigating police, in-depth investigations will be conducted into the fraudulent activities of these individuals in the fraud centers. Various methods, such as cross-examinations and tracking fund flows, can help clarify the criminal facts.

The incident involving Xin has once again raised concerns within the Chinese community to be cautious of self-proclaimed “anti-scam” advocates or online influencers who may attempt to exploit their supporters for financial gain.

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