A scammer who posed as police chief arrested in central Thailand

Photo by PPTVHD.

A scammer who posed as a police chief was arrested in Thailand’s central Ayutthaya province on Friday. A team of officers from the Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT) arrested the man, 32 year old Chonwicha Pansamut, in the Wang Noi district, according to the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB).

Authorities have evidence that Chonwicha claimed to be the Chiang Rai city district police chief in three major cases. The victims were tricked into transferring over 150 million baht to Chonwicha’s scam gang’s accounts. This was while working as a call scammer for a Taiwanese gang in Cambodia. Chonwicha illegally crossed the border into Cambodia.

Three of Chonwicha’s victims were a retired teacher, a stock investor, and a doctor. The retired teacher was tricked into transferring 11 million baht. The stock investor was tricked into transferring 41 million baht. The doctor was tricked into transferring 101 million baht.

PCT investigators and Cambodian police raided a building housing scammers in Cambodia’s Poipet town on October 17. The Taiwanese gang leaders and their Thai workers fled the scene, and the PCT team later learned that Chonwicha, one of the suspects, had returned to Thailand. They eventually tracked him down.

Chonwicha admitted to colluding with other scammers to lure victims into transferring money to the gang, Bangkok Post reported. His commission fees for the three major scams were 2 million baht, and he had earned about 4 million baht since joining the gang.

Chonwicha spent about 1 million baht building a house and gave about 1 million baht to relatives. He also spent about 500,000 baht on gold ornaments, and the rest on personal expenses and online gambling. Police so far have seized Chonwicha’s bank accounts, gold ornaments, cash, watches, and mobile phones.

Cambodia has become a scam hub. Last month, over 60 Thais were deported from Cambodia after allegedly working for Chinese-funded call centre scams. Back in July, dozens of Thai scammers were arrested and illegal call centres were shut down.

Central Thailand NewsCrime News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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