Update: Chinese city revokes travel restriction for cracking down on cross-border telecom fraud
Published: Feb 08, 2023 02:02 PM
Photo: from IC.

Photo: from IC.

The city of Enshi in Central China's Hubei Province on Wednesday withdrew a travel restriction on its residents to eight countries, after the expressions in the restriction notice, which was intended to prevent and crack down on telecom fraud and cross-border gambling, caused misunderstanding.

Enshi citizens who need to work, study or travel to Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, UAE, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Turkey can go to the immigration service hall for normal exit and entry procedures, a staffer of the anti-fraud telecom center at Enshi public security bureau told Shangyou News on Wednesday.

The response came after a notice released by the Enshi public security bureau on Tuesday, which advised citizens not to go to the eight countries unless for emergency or necessary reasons.

According to the notice, the suggestion was made to stop people in Enshi from illegally going abroad to commit telecom and internet fraud. But those studying abroad or travelling for business will still be able to visit these countries after receiving approval from their residential community or village and the local police station at least three days before their departure.

The notice was targeting those suspected of engaging telecom fraud rather than ordinary residents, said a representative from the Enshi public security bureau on Wednesday. Sources familiar with the matter said Enshi public security bureau deleted the notice as it failed to correctly and clearly express the social consensus of combating telecom scam, Shangyou News reported.

In the deleted notice, Enshi police also called on its residents living in the eight countries who have been designated by the Ministry of Public Security as high-risk groups to immediately contact local police authorities in Enshi before returning to China. 

According to the Ministry of Public Security, China has solved 319,000 cases of telecom and internet fraud, as well as 37,527 cross-border gambling cases in 2022.

In June 2022, China launched a one-year-long targeted campaign called "Pulling out nails" aimed at disrupting the heads and key personnel coordinating telecom fraud groups, in addition to those involved with offshore gambling houses, kidnapping and drug trafficking offences. 

Global Times