Thai immigration police arrest more Chinese call centre scam artists


CHON BURI, May 4 – The Thai authorities rounded up another call centre scam gang today–the second in two days–this time in the eastern seaboard province of Chon Buri, according to senior police department’s Immigration Bureau. 

The police agency arrested more than 20 Chinese nationals with links to another syndicate which was yesterday put out of business in Chaengwattana area.

Deputy Immigration Police Commissioners Pol Col Chartchai Iamfang and Ittipol Ittisanronnachai led more than 20 police officers to search a luxury residence in Chon Buri’s Bang Lamung district after investigators confirmed that it was being used by a call centre where victims transferred money to the gang.

Police arrested 22 Chinese nationals — 20 men and two women — and seized 26 desk telephones, 20 mobile phones, two notebook computers and equipment and accessories to connect with the Internet.

Col Chartchai said that the search followed the arrest and investigation of a call centre scam gang yesterday in Chaengwattana area in which 13 suspects were arrested.

The two groups were linked, he said.

The Chon Buri scam gang was headed by Liu Jian, age 33, who rented the house with a Bt90,000 fee. They then installed Internet connections.

The suspects were organised into four competing groups which preyed upon victims in China and Taiwan, claiming that they were official government authorities. As callers they told the victims that their bank accounts had problems and misled and frightened the victims to transfer money to their bank accounts.

The group swindling the largest amount of money from their victims received a bonus, said Col Chartchai.

More than Bt100 million was extracted from victims of the scam daily and during the two months of operation, the scammers caused total losses of as much as Bt6 billion.