Immigration police in central Thailand have arrested five Chinese nationals for illegally operating an internet money lending service from a luxury house in Pattaya, Chonburi.
On Tuesday night, local, immigration, and tourist police raided a luxury house in tambon Nong Prue in Bang Lamung district after investigations determined that Chinese nationals suspected of illicit business stayed there.
On the first floor, there were five Chinese people, four males and one woman aged 29 to 41. They were communicating with consumers in Chinese using laptop computers. Officers seized eight portable laptops, 12 mobile phones, 50 SIM cards, and a customer list of over 100 people.
Thailand’s Immigration police said the raid was carried out in response to orders from Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy national police chief, for police units across the country. Police had been ordered to coordinate their efforts and crack down on foreign nationals running illegal businesses, particularly in Pattaya town, a major tourist destination.
Investigators discovered that a group of Chinese had rented a property in Bang Lamung district for 180,000 baht per month and were suspected of running an illicit enterprise. This resulted in the police raid.
The five suspects allegedly conducted an online illicit loan service with tens of millions of baht in circulation. The gang’s 36 year-old bosstold police their clients were in China. All five had overstayed their visas.
The accused stated they had no idea what they were doing was illegal. They were turned over to Nong Pheu police for prosecution. They were thought to be part of a much wider scheme. The investigation was being expanded, according to the provincial police chief.
Extradition of Chinese Murder Suspects
Meanwhile, Thai police are in talks with China about extraditing three Chinese nationals wanted in Thailand for the kidnapping and murder of a Chinese student, Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, the deputy national police chief, said today (Tuesday).
Jin Can, a third-year music student at Bangkok Thonburi University, was discovered dead in a banana plantation ditch in Nonthaburi’s Bang Yai district on April 1st, after being abducted on March 30th by three Chinese males with the assistance of a Thai female bar employee.
On March 30th, the three Chinese nationals allegedly killed their victim after her father refused to pay them 2.5 million baht in ransom.
According to Pol Gen Surachate, the three suspects, who are currently in Chinese police custody, admitted to killing the student, while the Thai female was allegedly paid 40,000 baht by the trio for supporting them in their illegal conduct.
According to him, Thai authorities want the defendants transferred to stand trial in Thailand because the crimes were committed there.
Illegal Chinese firms targeted nationwide
Following accusations from a whistleblower, police and the Interior Ministry are looking for illegal associations that serve as fronts for illegal Chinese firms around the country.
Withan Sukkan, an interrogation director with the Department of Provincial Administration, met with Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy national police commander, on Monday to submit a complaint against unlicensed Chinese associations for alleged vested interests.
One of the targeted organisations was Yu Xinqi’s, who was recently arrested for allegedly utilising his organisation and business school to unlawfully recruit Chinese people into Thailand.
Mr Withan stated that the director-general of the Department of Provincial Administration assigned him to file the complaints, one of which alleged Mr Yu’s operation of an illegal association and entry of fraudulent information into a computer system.
Mr Withan also stated that the permanent secretary of the Interior Ministry directed provincial governors who were provincial association registrars to inspect local associations and take appropriate measures.
There were many false organisations like Mr Yu’s around the country, he said, and registrars could revoke them.
According to Pol Gen Surachate, Mr Yu was charged with offences involving computer systems, fundraising, and unlawful association operation. He had been banned and was about to be deported.
The deputy national police head also stated that a lese majeste complaint against Mr Yu had been received from whistleblower Chuvit Kamolvisit, and that police were collaborating with the Interior Ministry to combat unregistered associations.
Mr Chuvit told Pol Gen Surachate at the Nang Loeng police station on Monday that Mr Yu had used the term “the institution” to mislead Chinese people, therefore he decided to seek police to take legal action under the lese majeste statute.
Mr Chuvit said that there were 500-600 associations in Kanchanaburi province alone, along with a proxy firm of Chinese lawyers on Rama IX Road and an unlawful triad association on Srivara Road.