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59 Thais among 61 arrested in crackdown on 'call centre' gangs in Cambodia


Joint raids by Thai and Cambodian police netted 61 suspected “call centre” scammers preying on Thai victims, it was revealed on Thursday.

The raids took place recently at two locations – a deserted factory and a casino building – in Cambodia’s coastal city of Sihanoukville, deputy national police chief and Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT) head Pol General Damrongsak Kittiprapat told a press conference held at the Royal Thai Police headquarters.

Among the suspects were 59 Thais and two Taiwanese men described by the police as “masterminds”. They were charged with a variety of offences, including public embezzlement, money laundering, committing a cross-border crime, and being part of a criminal gang.

Police searches of the premises found scripts for scammers posing as Thai authorities, falsified documents claiming to be issued by Thai state agencies, such as arrest warrants and court summons, as well as computers and communication devices.

59 Thais among 61 arrested in crackdown on 'call centre' gangs in Cambodia

The joint operations in Cambodia were led by Pol Maj-General Teeradej Thumsutee and Cambodian police deputy chief Pol General Sar Theth.

At the first location, a deserted factory on Santepheap Road, 28 suspects were arrested — 26 Thai nationals and two Taiwanese nationals who were their bosses — police said on Thursday.

At the second location, the Diwei Entertainment City building used as a front for the gang, 33 Thais were arrested while they were allegedly calling prospective victims in Thailand.

This gang focused on deceiving their victims to invest in digital money, futures trade and online business by offering high returns, as well as romance scams, according to police.

Some Thai gang members told police that they earned about THB30,000 per month, plus a 3.5 per cent commission from the money earned through deceit from Thai victims.

Thai and Cambodian police are holding joint training on online crimes at the Central Police Strategy Training Centre in Nakhon Ratchasima province, where 30 Cambodian officers and 20 Thai officers will take part from March 27 to April 11.

PCT chief Damrongsak said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Royal Thai Police to crack down on the online scammers as the crime has been on the rise.

A total of 4,649 police complaints of online scams have been submitted through online channels after police began accepting online petitions since March 1 via the website www.thaipoliceonline.com.

Suspected scams can also be reported to the PCT by calling 081-8663000 or 1441 and through its website www.pct.police.go.th round the clock.

59 Thais among 61 arrested in crackdown on 'call centre' gangs in Cambodia

Published : March 24, 2022