SUNDAY, April 21, 2024
nationthailand

236 Thais working for call-centre gangs will return home later this week: Big Joke

236 Thais working for call-centre gangs will return home later this week: Big Joke

More than 200 Thais stuck in the ongoing clash at Myanmar’s Kokong Self-Administered Zone may be brought back to Thailand later this week.

Deputy National Police chief Pol General Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn said on Wednesday that 236 Thais had been stranded in the ongoing clashes after they travelled to work for a Chinese call-centre gang in Kokong’s Laukkaing Town.

Kokong is in the north of Shan State and near the Chinese border.

Surachate said on Tuesday that he had won a promise from the Myanmar Immigration Police that Thai nationals caught for illegal entry would not be prosecuted.

236 Thais working for call-centre gangs will return home later this week: Big Joke He added that so far, Myanmar authorities have managed to remove 162 Thais from the building they were working in, though 74 are still inside. It is believed that those inside had been beaten up and injured by the Chinese crime bosses.

Surachate said that since there was still heavy fighting in the area between Myanmar troops and a rebel armed group, it was unsafe to move the 74 injured.

He added that he was still waiting for Myanmar authorities to determine a safe route across the border to China, where they will be picked up to return home.

Once the route and evacuation dates are set, he will travel to China to ensure the evacuees return home safely, Surachate added.

He said he had learned that 70% of the 236 Thais working for the call-centre gang had travelled to work there knowing they would be making calls to deceive Thais.

Only 30%, he said, had been lured there under false pretences.

Hence, he said, once the 236 have been returned home, they will be interrogated to find out who among them had travelled to work in Kokong voluntarily. Those identified will be charged with violating the International Crime Syndicate Act and participating in public deception, Surachate said.

He added that many members of this group were once “rescued” from Cambodia, where they said they had been lured to work for a call-centre gang.

The actual victims, however, will receive compensation from the Thai government, he added.

236 Thais working for call-centre gangs will return home later this week: Big Joke Separately, Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said on Wednesday that the 236 Thais in Laukkaing were safe under the care of Myanmar authorities.

He said the Myanmar government was coordinating their repatriation to a Chinese city. Once that is complete, Thai officials will verify their nationality before sending them home.

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