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Police arrest 7 for alleged face mask scam

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police arrest 7 for alleged face mask scam | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath
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Police arrested 7 people allegedly involved in a multi-million baht scam selling face masks online and not delivering them. The Royal Thai Police teamed up with police in Seoul and Hong Kong for the investigation.

Police say 3 Thai women and 4 Cameroon nationals were arrested on fraud charges. The transnational investigation started when complaints were filed by people in Seoul and Hong Kong, claiming they had paid for large shipments of face masks, but did not receive their orders. 12 million baht was made in the alleged scam, according to the deputy national police chief and director of the Technology Crime Suppression Division Suwat Jangyodsuk.

“1 South Korean national and 2 Hong Kong people filed complaints with the Royal Thai Police’s Foreign Affairs Division that they had transferred more than $400,000 USD or about 12 million baht to the company for face masks, but did not receive the products.”

The group allegedly ran a company called Timbermate selling face masks online, according to Suwat. The website advertises face masks with respirators they say will protect against the coronavirus, adding that common face mask like surgical masks and those with N95 respirators have insufficient filtration and do not properly fit the face. A post was made on the website Scam Survivors saying that there were identical websites for Timbermate under different domain names.

Thai police tracked down 7 people allegedly involved in the scam and found them in Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham and Kalasin provinces. The 7 people arrested are charged with fraud, money laundering, uploading false information online, working without a work permit and overstaying their visa.

“The suspects include three men and a woman all from Cameroon and three Thai women. Officials also confiscated more than 150 items in their possession, such as computers, laptops, mobile phones, bank passbooks, ATM cards, cars, face masks, thermal scanners and 6.14 million baht in cash.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    September 4, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Preying on the vulnerable, price gouging and scamming during a crisis is low.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Pattaya

Pattaya men allegedly posed as police officers, extorted $50,000 from a woman

Caitlin Ashworth

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Pattaya men allegedly posed as police officers, extorted $50,000 from a woman | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A group of 4 men in Pattaya allegedly posed as police officers and extorted 50,000 baht from a woman. The 20 year old woman says the men claiming to be police officers raided her condominium and a friend visiting had drugs in his possession.

In the report filed with Pattaya City Police, the woman says the men asked both her and her friend for a bribe of 25,000 baht each. If they didn’t pay up, the men said they would arrest them on drug charges, according to the complaint. The woman says she gave the men 50,000 baht.

The men who allegedly posed as police officers were not in uniform and did not show any identification or badges, the woman says. After giving it some thought, the woman became suspicious and decided to file a complaint with police. Police are still investigating.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Crime

Facebook, Twitter may face charges for allegedly allowing lèse majesté content

Caitlin Ashworth

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Facebook, Twitter may face charges for allegedly allowing lèse majesté content | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Standard

Facebook and Twitter could face charges for failing to block so called lèse majesté posts that allegedly violate Thailand’s Computer Crime Act. The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society says the social media platforms were warned about Thailand’s laws regarding content that insults the Thai Monarchy or threatens national security and peace, but failed to remove all the illegal posts.

Letters were sent out to the operators of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube giving them 15 days to take down the illegal posts or charges would be pressed, according to Minister of Digital Economy and Society Buddhipongse Punnakanta. Since not all the posts were removed, the ministry has asked the Technology Crime Suppression Police to step in and prosecute the social media platforms.

The Thai government has been using the blunt tool of “shooting the messenger” in its battle against content deemed disrespectful of the Thai Monarchy under its lèse majesté laws.

“It is the first time in Thailand that the (computer crime) law is exercised to prosecute the service providers. Charges will go to the parent company of all the organisations. The police will use Thai laws because the offences happened in Thailand. I believe the police can do it.”

The minister says Facebook was told to take down 661 posts, but they only removed 225. Twitter was told to remove 69 posts, he says, but only took down 5. YouTube was told to remove 289 posts and all of them were blocked. Social media platforms that violate the Computer Crime Act could face an up to 200,000 baht fine per illegal post and a daily fine of up to 5,000 until the content is removed.

Buddhipongse filed the complaint which also cited nearly 1,000 social media posts that allegedly violate the act. They say the posts offending the Thai Monarchy were made during the pro-democracy protest in Bangkok last weekend.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

982 lèse majesté social media posts cited in police complaint

Caitlin Ashworth

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982 lèse majesté social media posts cited in police complaint | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

Nearly 1,000 so called lèse majesté posts on social media have been cited in a police complaint for allegedly violating Thailand’s Computer Crime Act, some allegedly criticising and insulting the Thai Monarchy. The complaints were filed by Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta.

The police report says the social media posts were shared during the pro-democracy protest over the weekend. Altogether, 982 social media posts allegedly violate Thailand’s Computer Crime Act. The ministry has also applied for a warrant to block content on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at violate the act.

In Thailand, lèse majesté (insulting the monarch) is criminalised by Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code… Since 2018, there have been no known new (lèse majesté) cases, but the authorities have invoked other laws, such as the Computer Crimes Act and sedition laws, to deal with perceived damages and insults to the monarchy. – Wikipedia

The complaints and subsequent legal threats, are a rear-guard action by a government and officialdom rattled by the number of protesters and by the extent of their demands, touching on the culturally taboo topic of Thailand’s revered monarchy. Another protest is on today at the front of the Thai parliament in Bangkok.

Out of the 982 posts, 661 were on Facebook, 289 were on YouTube, 69 were on Twitter and 5 were on other websites. Buddhipongse says 2 Facebook posts and 3 Instagram posts violate an Article 14 in the Computer Crime Act which regards posts that many cause damage to the country’s national security or cause a public panic. Those who violate Article 14 face up to 5 years in prison and an up to 100,000 baht.

Social media platforms could also face charges for violating the act’s Article 27 for failing to comply with orders from the court to take down the posts. They could face a fine up to 200,000 baht and a daily fine of 5,000 until the posts are taken down.

Other posts allegedly violate the act’s Article 20 which prohibits the spread of information online that might have an impact on national security, or that might be contradictory to the peace. The Nation Thailand says each post that violates Article 20 could face a 200,000 baht fine.

Click HERE to read an unofficial English translation of the Computer Crime Act.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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