Bangkok Post – 6 members of 2 major scam gangs arrested, including 2 Chinese nationals

Six suspected members of two major call centre scam gangs have been arrested separately with cash and other assets worth about 42 million baht seized. One Chinese suspect managed digital wallets with about 70 billion baht in circulation.

In the first case, officers  from the Technology Crime Suppression Division arrested Chen Yon Lai, 52, a Chinese man, and a Thai man identified only as Anan. They were wanted on arrest warrants issued by the Criminal Court on charges of colluding in public fraud and transnational crime, inputting false information into a computer system and laundering money.

Seized from them were 11 million baht cash, two computers, seven mobile phones, eight bank accounts, 13 cash cards, five cars and other assets worth about 42 million baht in total, Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) commissioner Pol Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, said on Monday.

Mr Chen was arrested at a luxury house in Phasicharoen district of Bangkok while Mr Anan was apprehended in Chachoengsao province in the East.

Police earlier arrested five alleged call centre scammers involved in creating a fake CIB Facebook page to swindle money from people last year.  An extended investigation showed that there were other suspects involved in the scam gang. Two of them were Mr Chen and Mr Anan, who were responsible for managing digital wallets used in illegal transactions and converting digital assets into cash to finance the operation of this call centre scam gang, said Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop.

The police investigators then sought court approval to arrest the two suspects. They searched eight locations in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Chachoengsao and Nakhon Ratchasima before managing to arrest the duo. The officers also invited five other people linked with the two suspects for questioning.

“Mr Chen and Mr Anan denied all charges, but the investigators did not believe them because some mobile phones seized from Mr Chen used one application to manage digital wallets linked with other scammers,” said the CIB chief. “There was more than 70 billion baht in circulation in those digital wallets he managed,” 

The investigation found that the Chinese suspect was a key player in the scam network. He was tasked with laundering money in digital currencies to other currencies for scam gangs which had operation bases in Cambodia.

Mr Chen had also used Thai nominees to buy houses, land plots, vehicles and other assets. He also held an elite visa.

During the raid, the arresting team found Mr Chen’s wife and their three children in the house. He had asked his wife to register her marriage with a Thai man and asked him to be their children’s father as he wanted the children to receive Thai nationality.

In the second case, a Chinese man identified as Zheng, 31, and three accomplices – a former police officer, 70, and two Cambodian men, aged 31 and 35 – were arrested.

Mr Zheng has been charged with illegal entry. He was also wanted on an Interpol red notice for technology crime with damage worth over 40 million yuan, said the CIB chief.

They were members of a call centre scam gang, said Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop.

Mr Zheng was arrested on Highway 33 in Muang district of Sakaeo while the other suspects were apprehended at Rong Klua border market in Aranyaprathet district.

The arrest came after the CIB’s anti-online scam operation centre found that some people had persuaded local residents to open mule bank accounts for scammers and took them to cross the Thai-Cambodian border to scan their faces to receive money transfers from victims. The money had later been transferred to members of this scam gang, said Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop.

Police had closely monitored activities of this gang and later arrested Mr Zheng and the other accomplices.

The officers also found that the Chinese suspect was wanted on an Interpol red notice and by the Chinese government for cyber crime. There were 121 victims with damage worth over 40 million yuan, said Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop.

The other three suspects had been hired to bring people to work as call centre scammers in Cambodia. They were paid 3,000 baht per head.

SOURCE: : Thailand   (go to source)
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