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Suspect in illegal Internet business case detained
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-22 00:56

A man surnamed Zou in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, accused of managing illegal international VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) traffic, is expected to be sentenced to at least five years in prison.

Zou's company is alleged to have chalked up 3 million yuan (US$360,000) worth of illegal international VOIP business by the end of March, leading to more than 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) in telecom income losses for the State, according to a recent press release from the local police station.

Zou is still awaiting trial.

Police uncovered the case in mid-February, when Zou's company was promoting its services to foreign enterprises, with its phone charges listed around merely one-third of State standards.

After further investigation, police allegedly found that the company did not have any kind of international phone managerial qualifications at all.

In early March, police claimed to have discovered a secret computer room in Qingdao, where an illegal Internet gateway was hidden.

Late in March, local police and telecom law enforcement officials claimed to have found another five illegal management spots allegedly run by the company in Qingdao, Yantai and Weihai. Zou was then arrested.

Zou is alleged to have leased 30 trunk lines from two local telecom companies and bought gateway facilities for secret operations under the cloak of his legal company, which he registered in 2000.

The company had established business relationship with more than 300 enterprises.

Illegal international VOIP management is the focus of crackdowns worldwide, as it harms the interests of reputable enterprises and consumers and threatens Internet information security, according to an official surnamed Li from the Shandong Telecom Management Bureau. 

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