A Taiwanese national suspected of being behind a pyramid scheme that swindled more than 3,000 people was brought back to Taiwan from Malaysia Thursday, after another alleged leader of the same crime ring was arrested, according to the Investigation Bureau.
Chen Cheng-hsuan (陳澄玄) is believed to be one of the masterminds behind the Maxim Trader Group, which used a multilevel marketing scheme to swindle NT$13.9 billion (US$435.89 million) from more than 3,000 people from 2013-2015, the bureau said in a statement Thursday.
The victims were from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and several Southeast Asian countries, the bureau said.
Among the illegal gains, Chen and people working under him are believed to have scammed over NT$2.9 billion, it added.
The bureau said it launched an investigation into the criminal group in December 2015 and arrested several suspects, but Chen fled the country. Since then he has been listed as a fugitive.
After bureau officers arrested another of the group’s leaders, Hsu Szu-wei (許思為), in September, the bureau said it received a tip from the public that Chen had started another pyramid scheme in Malaysia.
The bureau then worked with Malaysian authorities to locate Chen and he was finally arrested in Kuala Lumpur in early November, it said.
Chen was brought back to Taiwan Thursday and will be handed over to prosecutors, it added.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel