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B150mn Chinese call centre scam busted in Patong, B13mn in cash seized

PHUKET: Tourist Police Deputy Commander Gen Surachet Hakpan was in Phuket yesterday to announce co-ordinated raids staged with Chinese Police that ended a call centre scam operation based in Patong that had defrauded victims of a reported B150 million.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 19 July 2018, 10:44AM

Police had arrested a total of 25 people and seized more than B13 million in cash in connection with the scam, Gen Surachet explained yesterday (July 18).

Of those arrested, were 22 Chinese, two were Thai nationals and one was from Myanmar.

Five of the Chinese suspects and the one Myanmar suspect were also on overstay and illegally staying in the Kingdom, Gen Surachet added.

In taking down the call centre gang, police on Tuesday raided four locations where the gang operated: two locations on Sirirat Rd at the southern end of Patong and the other two on Phra Mettha Rd.

Officers also raided another two locations where the 25 suspects were staying, Gen Surachet said.

During the raids police seized as evidence eight laptops, four W-iFi routers, 150 mobile phones, four iPads, a money counting machine as well as 135 credit cards, six ATM cards and 52 mobile SIM cards.

Police also seized B13,566,570 and 3,800 Yuan in cash and one Bangkok-registered Mercedes-Benz CLA 200, Gen Surachet explained.

The operation to take down the gang came from a request from the Chinese Government direct to Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, who instructed Royal Thai Police Commissioner-General Gen Chakthip Chaijinda to set up a task force to specifically take down the gang.

Laguna Golf Phuket

“This operation came at the request of the Chinese Police in Jilin, which has many call centre gangs,” Gen Surachet said.

“The raids in Phuket were also co-ordinated with raids on the same gang at two sites in Pattaya and nine in Bangkok,” he explained.

“But Patong was the centre of their operations; they had staff and aids to control everything,” he added.

The Chinese Police said the damage done in China by the same gang amounted to about B150 million and have urged the Thai police to charge everyone involved in the scam, Gen Surachet noted.

No Thais were victims of the gang, he added.

“This is a new development where criminals are using Thailand as a base to carry out crime in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket and target victims overseas,” he said.

The 25 suspects have been individually charged with a variety of crimes, including fraud and using electronic devices to commit fraud, which carries long jail terms under Thai law.

“They will serve their punishment in Thailand first, then be handed over to Chinese authorities to face legal action there,” Gen Surachet said.



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MartinK | 22 July 2018 - 22:06:19

Lol. “This is a new development where criminals are using Thailand as a base to carry out crime in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket and target victims overseas,” See Drummond, Andrew for about 20 years of info on Thailand being a call center HQ and the incredible amount of cash being scammed. Ludicrous statement as always good for a laugh.

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