Shanghai: The No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court publicly sentenced defendants Zhang Changhua and He Renqiang for fraud on August 25, 2021.
Zhang Changhua received 15 years’ imprisonment for fraud, deprivation of political rights for four years, and fined 2.5 million yuan ($385,600 US). He Renqiang was sentenced to 14 years in prison for fraud, deprived of political rights for four years, and fined 1 million yuan ($154,000 US).
The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court heard that between March 2011 and July 2017, the defendant Zhang Changhua had left China for Surabaya, Indonesia, where he participated in a small group organized by others such as “Wai Ge” and Zhuang Huaide (being processed in separate cases). The “North Club” and the “E68” fraud group used telecommunications network platforms (VoIP) to call to residents in China and carry out fraudulent activities.
From November 2018 to March 2019, the defendant Zhang Changhua knew that he had been chased online by the Chinese police for participating in telecommunications network fraud, but he was still under the scrutiny of a man kown as “Ge Ge” (a separate case being dealt with). He and the defendant He Renqiang went to Sihanoukville, Cambodia to participate in the formation of a criminal gang to commit further Internet fraud. Afterwards, Zhang Changhua and He Renqiang directed the fraud group to use the telecommunications network platform to make internet calls to domestic companies and conduct fraudulent activities.
The court stated that in the above-mentioned fraudulent activities, members of various fraud gangs not only impersonated the customer service staff, bank staff, financial personnel and leaders of the company, but also impersonated police officers and prosecutors. The defendants Zhang Changhua and He Renqiang each participated in the fraud amounting to 98.95 million yuan and 96.83 million yuan (around $15 million US each case).
The Court believed that the telecommunications network fraud gangs in which the defendant Zhang Changhua participated alone or in cooperation with the defendant He Renqiang have stable core members. There is a clear hierarchy, clear division of labor, and strict discipline. They adopted a centralized management method to jointly implement the telecommunications network fraud activities, therefore, should be recognized as a criminal group. Both Zhang Changhua and He Renqiang are the principal offenders in this case, and both have confessed. Combined with the facts, nature, plot and degree of social harm in the case, the above first-instance judgment was made in accordance with the law. (Reporter Li Shuzheng)