COLOMBO - Police in Sri Lanka arrested at least 114 Chinese nationals over an alleged Internet currency fraud, during a string of raids in and around Colombo, officials said on Saturday. The arrests were made after Chinese police sought assistance from their Sri Lankan counterparts in cracking the alleged fraud ring. “They were charged under the Cyber Crime Act,” a lawyer who assisted the inquiry but did not wish to be named told AFP. The accused were arrested following a joint investigation by Sri Lankan and Chinese police, senior superintendent Prishantha Jayakodi told AFP.

“They have defrauded their countrymen by making them... transfer money to accounts maintained in Sri Lanka in the names of those arrested,” Jayakodi said.

The Chinese police requested help after identifying several call centres in the tropical island nation involved in the alleged fraud, Sri Lankan police said.

“The fraud-affected people (live) in China,” Jayakodi said. “The fraud was carried out in Sri Lanka through the Internet.”

Police said the Chinese nationals arrested were in the country on tourist visas.