Chinese online casino, boiler room shut down

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Pattaya-area police arrested 20 Chinese nationals accused of running online gambling sites and boiler rooms to bilk mainland residents.

Chonburi, Pattaya, Nongprue, Tourist and Transnational Crime Coordination Center police announced the arrests Sept. 19 following raids on four Pattaya and Jomtien Beach addresses.

Six Chinese were captured at a rented house on Soi Khao Talo where they operated online sports-betting and casino websites. Officers seized computers, mobile phones and 36 ATM cards. The suspects were charged with various immigration offenses, online theft and working without a permit.

Police said the operation, allegedly run by Liew Chang, had daily turnover of 2.3 million baht with Liew paid more than 1.3 million baht a month.

Officers then raided Viewpoint Village in South Pattaya, Lumpini Condo and Jomtien Seaview on Jomtien Beach Road where 14 Chinese nationals were apprehended, along with 15 notebook computers.

They allegedly partook in a boiler room enticing Chinese back home to invest in dodgy gold and petroleum stocks as well as foreign currency. In typical fashion, the initial small investments paid off handsomely and the call-center operators went back for more. The stocks then tanked and the operation closed down, cheating the investors out of all their cash.

Police said they are working with the Chinese embassy to help identify the victims.