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in-focus

Chinese men caught with 347,200 SIMs in alleged online fraud


A Chinese gang has been using Thailand as a base to falsely inflate the number of “likes” and page views for online advertisements, police have said.

“Product owners will be misled. Such activities are a threat to the overall economy,” Sa Kaew immigration chief Acting Pol Colonel Benjapon Rodsawas said yesterday. 
He made the remarks after three Chinese men were arrested in Sa Kaew province on Sunday. 
The three suspects confessed that they earned Bt100,000 for using the WeChat app to generate Internet traffic that could have misled vendors of Chinese products, he said. Available evidence suggested the men targeted Chinese advertisements only, and Thai brands were unaffected. 
“Their employers, ad agencies, received payments based on the number of ‘likes’ and views,” Benjapon said. 
The three suspects were identified as Wang Dong, 33, Niu Bang, 25, and Ni Wenjin, 32, all of whom were charged with working without a permit and possessing smuggled phones. Officials planned to bring them to court on Tuesday to ask for permission to detain them further.
They told Thai authorities that their accomplices had worked from another location but also in Sa Kaew province. 
No one was at the location but police found a huge number of SIM cards. 
“There must be over 100,000 SIM cards. There was equipment similar to what we found during Sunday’s arrest. But there are no phones and no suspects,” Benjapon said. 
Locals said two Chinese men had rented the place but left suddenly on Sunday night.
Authorities said the suspects had not named their employer but said they had been supplied with 474 cell phones and 347,200 SIM cards for their operation. 
“We will investigate further how they could acquire such a huge number of SIM cards, which require registration,” Benjapon said. 

Published : June 12, 2017

By : Chatchawan Sopapan The Nation