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Three Chinese suspects caught with thousands of SIM cards

Jun 11. 2017
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By Chatchawal Sopapan
The Nation

Sa Kaew immigration police arrested three Chinese men at a rented house on Sunday and seized 500 iPhones and almost 10,000 SIM cards on suspicion that they might be operating a transnational call-centre scam.

However, police then determined that they were working to generate “likes” and webpage views promoting online goods, but they still faced charges including working in the county without permission.

Following a report that foreigners had rented a house in Tambon Ban Mai Nong Sai of Aranyaprathet district without notifying the authorities, immigration police with the support of Military Circle 19 soldiers checked whether they had stayed in the country past the expiration of their visas. 

However, the operation led by Sa Kaew Immigration Office commander Pol Lt-Colonel Benjapol Rodsawat found that two suspects, Wang Dong, 33 and Niu Bang, 25, were in possession of hundreds of activated iPhones along with a computer notebook at the townhouse. They also found more than 5,000 SIM cards in boxes. 

A third suspect, Ni Wenjin, 32, emerged from an opposite townhouse and was arrested, with officers finding more SIM cards at the second house. 

The three were brought for questioning over suspicion that they were running a call-centre scam, which the three denied through an interpreter. 

The three men claimed they had been hired to boost the “likes” and page views for various online goods over the past three months. 

The three men were initially charged with working in Thailand without permission and conducting a business involving tax evasion as police suspected the iPhones had been smuggled from another country. 

The three were then sent to the Aranyaprathet police station for further legal action. 

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