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800 Chinese citizens arrested in Mongolia

Admin | Published: 2019-11-18

The operation

In the evening of October 29, 2019, Mongolian General Intelligence Agency and General Police Authority officers carried out special operation in Ulaanbaatar, capital city of Mongolia and arrested around 500 citizens of China. Sources say they are from Hong Kong.

At this moment neither Police nor Intelligence agency haven’t made any official press briefing.

However, mongolian popular website reports the authorities are investigating the suspects for some illegal activities regarding highly organized cyber crime involving over 1000 high performance computers and 10 000 mobile phones with SIMs.

Хуулийн байгууллагууд хамтран БНХАУ-ын 500 орчим иргэнийг саатуулаад байна. Тэдний хэрэглэж байсан 10 000 гаруй дугаартай гар утас, өндөр хүчин чадалтай 1000 гаруй компьютерийг хураан авлаа. Зариг.мн газар дээрээс нь шууд дамжуулан үзүүлж байна.

Posted by on Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Special operation is being conducted at this moment.

Mobile phones seized during the raid:

Sources say the suspects were divided in 3 hotel groups. Special operations are being carried out at the same time.

Journalists are waiting for official press brief from authorities tomorrow morning.

Update 1: 3.00 AM GMT (11 AM Ulaanbaatar time)

During the night the police extended its operation to other hotels and took more Chinese citizens into custody, making the total number of arrested suspects to around 1000. Unofficial sources say the suspects were involved into money laundry and financial scams.

During the raid law enforcement agents seized around 10 000 Mongolian cellular operator SIM cards. So far Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia and General Police Authority declined to make comments saying it’s a special operation carried out by Mongolian General Intelligence Agency.

The suspects were arrested from 4 hotels: “Amar Oriental”, “Centaur”, and “Union”. (4th hotel not known yet)

Suspects seem to have arrived in Mongolia by tourist visa. No official statements have been made so far.

Update 2: 10.30 AM GMT (18.30 Ulaanbaatar time)

Closed meeting of the Cabinet of the Government of Mongolia has been held today. The Cabinet meeting reviewed last night’s special operation carried out by General Intelligence Agency of Mongolia. After the meeting relevant officials gave interviews and comments on the issue.

S.Baatarjav, chairman of the General Police Authority:

Police have started interviews and inspection of the suspects at the hotels named “Amar”, “Oriental”, “Centaur”, and “Union”. Right now document inspections are being made. Organizers have been identified. At this moment we are charging the suspects with gambling, cyber casino, and money laundering activities which are illegal by Mongolian laws. So far we’ve detained around 800 foreign citizens.

We’ve identified 5 main organizers: 4 are citizens of People’s Republic of China, 1 is a citizen of Mongolia. The suspects have arrived in Mongolia since August, 20 – 80 people at a time, by tourist visas.

Journalist: Has any political party of Mongolia been involved in this issue in any way, by sponsoring or some way?

Mr. Baatarjav: No. No political party has been involved in this case, so far.

D.Gerel, chairman of the General Intelligence Agency:

We’ve been closely monitoring the situation since August this year. At first the suspects arrived as 80 people tourist group. Then the size of the group increased by 20 or 30 people per week. As of yesterday this number reached 800. We clearly know who are behind this activity.

Currently we are inspecting the case in the framework of anti-money laundering effort. We are carrying out the inspection in cooperation with the police. We’ve arrested 5 organizers: 4 are Chinese citizens, 1 is Mongolian citizen.

The others arrived in Mongolia as tourists but were working in violation of visa. After inspection, if no further reasons are there, we will deport the suspects to their country of origin, other than the main organizers.

Mr.Ts.Ganzoring, Chairman of Public Relations of the Government of Mongolia:

Prosecutor’s Office is overseeing the inspection and detention of the suspects. Currently the law enforcement agencies have detained and inspecting around 740 foreign nationals. Because of the large number of suspects, the law enforcement agencies detained the suspects at their hotels. We’ve notified about this operation to the relevant embassy of the foreign nationals.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Mongolia

Meanwhile, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Mongolia issued official statement regarding the issue saying it has received notification of involvement of its citizens in cyber crimes in Mongolia on October 20, 2019; Mongolian and Chinese law enforcement agencies are cooperating on this issue; it’s confident that this issue will be settled according to laws; and it will be monitoring the situation.

Update 3: November 4, 2019

After intensive interview and investigation organized by joint teams of Mongolian law enforcement organizations, 759 Chinese citizens have been deported from Mongolia to China via train. Special agents of Mongolia handed the suspects over to Chinese police.

Black marks have been sealed on their passports prohibiting entry to Mongolia for 3 years.

As of today police still have 3 Mongolian and 14 Chinese citizens in custody in relation to this cyber crime case.

D.Erdenebat, chairman of the council of Mongolian Democratic Party made a statement regarding the case: “During the arrest of the cyber crime suspects 1.5 billion tugriks ($550 000 USD) in cash were confiscated. We need to improve our vigilance against cyber crimes”.

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