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26 Chinese among suspects arrested in joint bust of call-centre and online gambling gangs

Jul 23. 2018
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By The Nation

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Thai and Chinese police last week joined forces to bust call-centre and online gambling gangs in four major provinces, netting 34 suspects, including 26 Chinese nationals.

The arrests were announced on Monday at a press conference at the Royal Thai Police headquarters by Pol Maj-Gen Surachet Hakpal, deputy tourist police chief. 

With cooperation from Chinese police, Thai officers checked 14 locations in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Chon Buri and Phuket on July 19 and made the arrests, Surachet said.

Nineteen of the suspects are alleged members of call-centre gangs, with 17 of them Chinese, one from Myanmar and the other from Vanuatu.

The deputy tourist police chief said 15 other suspects were suspected of being members of online gambling gangs.

Nine of those arrested are Chinese, three from Myanmar and the other three are hill-tribe people from the North of Thailand.

Surachet added that most of the suspects operated from Phuket, which is a major city with modern communication facilities.

Most pretended to be from finance firms when approaching their victims via the WeChat app, which is popular among Chinese.

He said the con artists lured their victims into sending them money by offering loans, but saying they needed to transfer money first to open a portfolio in order to show that they had good credit.

Surachet said one victim, a Chinese national, had committed suicide after he lost his lifetime savings of about Bt2.5 million to a gang, which was found to have been operating a company out of the Fortune shopping mall since 2015.

During the press conference, Chen Jun, a representative from the Chinese police, thanked Surachet and Thai police for having cracked down on the gangs that had preyed on many innocent Chinese citizens.

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