Chinese kingpin of transnational call centre gang arrested at Bangkok airport

A Chinese man wanted for trafficking Chinese people across borders to work in call centre gangs in Laos and Cambodia was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on Saturday.

Chief of Police Suwat Chaengyordsook received a call on Friday, July 22, warning him that a Chinese fugitive wanted on an Interpol ‘Red Notice’ would be travelling to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok the next day. Zhou Dawei – age unknown – was wanted in China under suspicion of “trafficking people in and out of the country.”

Dawei was arrested by Thai police upon his arrival in Bangkok on Saturday and was interrogated at Suvarnabhumi Airport Detention Centre. Dawei confessed to bringing Chinese people into Laos and Cambodia to work in call centre gangs.

Chinese authorities informed Thai police that Dawei’s passport had already been revoked and requested that he be deported back to China to be prosecuted. Thai police put Dawei on China Southern Airlines flight CZ 3082 to Guangzhou at 5pm yesterday, July 25. The Chinese authorities paid for his deportation.

Police chief Suwat said that Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is working hard to combat call centre scams and other cybercrimes in Thailand and southeast Asia. Thailand is working closely with authorities in all ASEAN countries that are facing similar problems.

In May, the Royal Thai Police hosted the Cybercrime Conference for Law Enforcement Agencies and Partners at a hotel in Phuket in southern Thailand. The conference was attended by representatives from eight ASEAN nations as well as representatives from seven non-ASEAN countries. Representatives from Facebook, Microsoft, Trend Micro, Binance and Meta also attended to talk about fighting online crime.

Thailand recently made a significant breakthrough in preventing the public from falling victim to call centre scams. The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society added the prefix +697 to IP calls, which are untraceable calls regularly used by call centre scammers to remain anonymous.

The ministry added the prefix to warn the public that if you get a call from a +679 number, it’s most likely a scam call centre trying to swindle you out of money, so don’t answer.

SOURCE: Sanook

Bangkok NewsCrime NewsThailand News

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.