Taiwanese call-centre scam suspect nabbed while in transit at Bangkok airport

national April 21, 2018 01:00

By SURIYA PATATHAYO
THE NATION

A TAIWANESE man suspected to be a member of a call-centre gang that has been preying on victims across Asia for the past six years was arrested at Suvarnabhumi International Airport early yesterday. The gang had reportedly swindled various people out of Bt100 million.



The suspect, Ko Chan Ku, was arrested while in transit at the airport during a journey from Dubai to Taiwan, said deputy tourist police commissioner Pol Major Surachet Hakpan. 

An arrest warrant had been issued for him by Bangkok’s Phra Khanong district court on March 1, said Surachet.

Ko was charged with conspiring with an international criminal organisation (the call-centre gang), racketeering, public fraud, conspiring to launder scammed money and putting false information onto a computer, resulting in substantial losses to members of the public, he added. 

Investigators at Khlong Ton police station would lead the inquiry against him.

Police also returned Bt480,000 to five victims who had been duped by call-centre scammers. It was the 12th money-returning ceremony by police to victims since the Royal Thai Police’s (RTP) call-centre scam suppression operation centre was established last year.

Surachet, in his capacity as the operation centre head, said that Thai courts had approved 526 warrants against call-centre scam suspects and that 296 people covered by the warrants had been arrested. He said 47 suspects were apprehended abroad, pending their repatriation to Thailand.

“Ko Chan Ku is one of the eight suspects for whom national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda had asked Interpol to issue a ‘red notice’ or internationally wanted person alert,” he said, adding that the other seven suspects remained at large.

Chakthip said Ko was a leading member of the call-centre gang. He had worked for the gang for six years and helped it dupe Bt100 million from victims across Asia. 

His capture stemmed from the arrest of the gang’s Taiwanese boss, Chi Khea, in Samut Prakan on December 27. 

The gang boss, who was subsequently sentenced to a 10-year jail term, had given information leading to the arrest of more accomplices and the exposure of gang bases in various countries. 

Last month, a joint operation between Thai and United Arab Emirates police led to the arrest of 23 suspects belonging to this Taiwanese gang in Dubai. 

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