Fri, January 28, 2022

in-focus

Police bust Chinese call-centre scammers


The Police Immigration Bureau has announced a major bust of a transnational call-centre scam gang that saw 19 Chinese and 25 Taiwanese suspects arrested from several rented houses in Bangkok and nearby provinces as well as Pattaya City.

The gang, which reported had links to six countries and had at least five Thai accomplices, allegedly duped some 1,000 victims and stole Bt100 million, the bureau chief Pol Lt-General Natthorn Prosunthorn told the press on Sunday.
The gang’s Thai accomplices procured equipment, rented houses and opened bank accounts, Natthorn said. 
Police have revoked the suspects’ 90-day tourist visas and notified them of the charges before proceeding to extradite them to face legal action in China, he added.
Thai police have been co-operating with the Chinese Embassy in a crack down on a 100-strong gang that operated from Thailand, he said. The gang used Voice Over Internet Protocol to phone victims, most elderly persons and retirees in China, claiming to be bank officials, then making false accusations of drug offences against the victims. The scammers then asked for information to verify the victims’ claims of innocence and had them perform a “checking procedure” at ATMs. This procedure, supposedly to prevent the victims’ bank account from being frozen, actually resulted in them unwittingly wiring money to the gang.
Evidence including mobile phones, notebook computers and other tools were seized from the CCTV camera-installed houses that the gang operated as call centres.
Natthorn said the scammers were provided with scripts of what to say to convince their victims.
He said that continuous crackdowns by Thai police have led to several gangs relocating from central regions of the country to border areas where they could still access Thailand’s high-speed Internet to make their fraudulent calls.

Published : July 23, 2017

By : Suriya Patathayo The Nation