Border Gate area, Macau. Photo: Google Maps

Macau Judiciary Police on Monday and Tuesday arrested three people for alleged involvement in a crime syndicate, accessing a computer or data-storage device for dishonest intent, and infringement of laws regarding communication tools.

A male illegal immigrant from mainland China, a mainland Chinese woman and a Vietnamese domestic worker were arrested for allegedly operating five fake mobile-phone base stations in the Border Gate area and Zona Nova de Aterros do Porto Exterior, according to a release on the Judiciary Police website.

A total of 22 sets of equipment, a suitcase and some gadgets for operating the fake base stations were confiscated, police said.

A fake base station is telecom equipment that sends out a signal that disconnects mobile-phone users within the area from their legitimate base stations, so they receive messages from the fake base instead.

Police believe the gang had been in operation since last September. The Chinese man allegedly operated the fake base stations while the women managed and monitored the facilities.

The fake messages that they sent out had to do with online gambling, usury and information about the sale of tools to enable gamers to cheat in the casinos. But police did not confiscate any such items during the raids.

Police are hunting for the mastermind behind the group.