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Police Take Down Scam Gang in Southern Thailand, 55 Chinese Nationals Arrested

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Police Take Down Scam Gang in Southern Thailand

Police raided eight locations in southern Thailand and arrested 90 online scammers, including 55 Chinese nationals. Police from the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) led the raids that resulted in the arrests of 55 Chinese and 35 Thai nationals.

Police conducted raids on a hotel room, three commercial buildings, three dwellings, and a factory in Nakhon Si Thammarat province’s Chawang district, according to a police briefing on Friday.

More than 2,000 things were seized, including 228 computers, 1,037 mobile phones, 521 SIM cards, 80 bank passbooks, several firearms, and untaxed merchandise.

All 90 suspects were being held in police custody pending legal proceedings, and the probe was being expanded, according to authorities.

At the briefing, Pol Lt Gen Thatchai Pitaneelabutr, an assistant national police chief, and Pol Lt Gen Worawat Watnakhornbancha, the CCIB commissioner, stated that the operations were carried out in response to evidence that Chinese-led scam gangs were utilizing Nakhon Si Thammarat as an operational base.

According to investigators, the group hired people to deceive victims into participating in fraudulent stock trading schemes, booking non-existent hotel rooms, and moving money into the scammers’ bank accounts.

Scam Gangs raking in $3 trillion

Human trafficking-fueled fraud is on the rise in Southeast Asia, with organized crime rings raking in about $3 trillion in illicit cash each year, according to the president of Interpol, revealing cartels’ massive earnings.

According to Interpol secretary-general Jurgen Stock, one multinational organized criminal gang earns $50 billion per year, while $2 trillion to $3 trillion in illicit funds pass through the global financial system each year.

For comparison, the International Monetary Fund estimates France’s GDP to be worth $3.1 trillion.

Interpol claims that since 2021, its activities in Asia have resulted in approximately 3,500 arrests and the confiscation of $300 million in illegally generated assets across 34 nations.

Survivor testimonials, NGO campaigns, and media coverage over the last three years have revealed a surge of online fraud gangs operating in Southeast Asia, with many using de facto slave labor to target people all over the world, including the United States.

Victims from all across Asia are frequently deceived into appearing legal occupations throughout the region before being transported into fraud compounds where they endure severe abuse such as forced labor, arbitrary incarceration, demeaning treatment, or torture – sometimes with little or no assistance from local authorities.

Criminal Enterprises Flourishing

According to a United Nations report published last year, hundreds of thousands of people from Thailand, Laos Cambodia, Philippines and Myanmar are being trafficked into online criminal activity around the region.

The UN calculated that up to 120,000 people could be imprisoned in compounds throughout Myanmar, which has been plunged into civil strife since a 2021 military coup, with another 100,000 kept in Cambodia and abroad in conditions akin to modern slavery.

Criminal enterprises also flourish in Laos, Thailand, and the Philippines, with many profitable internet scam operations ranging from illicit gaming to love scams and cryptocurrency fraud.

While drug trafficking accounts for 40% to 70% of organized crime revenue, criminal groups are also exploiting smuggling networks to unlawfully move people, arms, and stolen goods, among other things, Stock added.

Myanmar, which shares a mountainous border with southern China, is a major base for scam syndicates, and Beijing is now attempting to tighten down on cross-border crime against Chinese nationals.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly Chinese, have been captured and coerced by criminal gangs to scam strangers via the internet in tightly guarded facilities run by local warlords.

China has pressured Myanmar’s military government to stop the scam operations, but with limited effect.

Earlier this month, more than 800 Filipinos, Chinese, and other nations were rescued following a police raid on an online romance scam center disguised as a casino around 100 kilometers from the capital, according to the official Philippine News Agency, citing local authorities. Hundreds of victims were forced to masquerade as lovers in order to entice people to donate money, a practice known as a “pig-butchering” scam.

The victims, some of whom were from Malaysia and Vietnam, claimed local detectives that alleged crime lords urged each forced worker to siphon $42,000 per day online, and that if they did not make that target, they were assaulted.

And scammers are becoming more adept, employing artificial intelligence to defraud organizations.

Thailand’s PM Orders Crackdown After He’s Messaged By Scammer

Thailand’s PM Orders Crackdown After He’s Messaged By Scammer

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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