Five Indian phone scammers and 15 Thai accomplices were arrested following a major scam bust yesterday across Thailand. The suspects swindled 365 American retirees out of over three billion baht, according to police.
First our previous story:
An Indian man and his Thai wife have been taken into custody by Pattaya Police today for allegedly scamming multiple American victims of over three billion baht.
Now for our update:
The raids carried out by the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB), police commandos, and officials from the Anti-Money Laundering Office struck 36 premises in Chonburi, Rayong, Roi Et, and Surat Thani, and resulted in the arrest of over 20 phone scam suspects.
Pol. Gen. Torsak Sukwimol, deputy national police chief, told a press briefing today, March 22nd, that the suspects mainly targeted elderly American citizens and had tricked 365 people into transferring them three billion baht.
Five primary Indian suspects have been arrested including:
- Mr. Tevanachu Nandakichor Cho, 42 years old
- Mr. Autar Singh, 36 years old
- Mr. Yogesh Kumar, 34 years old
- Mr. Karun Kumar Gotchakpai, 40 years old
- Mr. Keetan Triphuvandej Panchal, 53 years old
15 Thai accomplices with ages ranging from 20-50 years old were also taken into custody.
The Royal Thai Police are joining forces with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Secret Service to hunt for 16 remaining fugitives.
On Tuesday, March 21st, Pattaya Police arrested one Indian alleged scammer and seized from him 162 bank account books, 61 smartphones, two cars, and one firearm.
According to Gen. Torsak, a group of Indian and Thai nationals formed a call center gang to scam retirees in the United States. The group swindled money from the victims by saying the victims were involved in legal cases, posing themselves as FBI officers, or hacking the victims’ computers. Between 2020-2021, there were 72,000 reported cases with damages totaling more than 3 billion baht.
The victims varied in occupations, such as doctors, university professors, dentists, military personnel, and business owners, Gen. Torsak said. Most of them were swindled out of their hard-earned life savings.
The syndicate operated as a network with different roles to move and hide the assets obtained from their criminal activities. They used Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Peru, and Poland as sources for stashing the scammed money.
After investigating and collecting digital evidence, police discovered that there was more than 1 billion baht circulating within the scam gang’s network. Bank accounts belonging to legal entities within the network, as well as gold shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues in Chonburi were also found to have been used to launder money.
The suspects faced various charges, such as money laundering, participating in transnational organized crime, fraud, and importing fake information into computer systems.
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