Cyber police arrest call centre gang in Sa Kaeo for 700k fraud

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Cyber police arrested members of a call centre gang impersonating officials from the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) and defrauding a high-ranking female official from the Ministry of Justice of over 700,000 baht.

Cyber police, directed by Vorawat Watnakornbancha, led a raid to arrest 31 year old Angkana and 34 year old Chanchai, based on a warrant from the Maha Sarakham Provincial Court. Both were charged with public fraud, falsifying computer data, and money laundering.

The fraudulent activity began in March when scammers contacted the victim, posing as OCPB officials. They falsely claimed that her personal information was used to open SIM cards and bank accounts, which were then used to create a Facebook page selling weight loss products. The scammers told the victim that she needed to verify her identity to clear her name.

Despite the victim residing in Maha Sarakham, which made travel to Bangkok inconvenient, the scammers suggested she verify her identity via Line. The victim was then transferred to someone posing as a police officer named Manut from the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD). This person instructed her to add a Line account named Consumer Protection Police and chat with someone claiming to be Theerapob from CPPD.

The impersonator Theerapob falsely informed the victim that she was involved in a money laundering case and had to transfer money to the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) for verification. The victim was then directed to video call with another scammer posing as an AMLO official.

This fake official claimed that her bank accounts would be frozen until her assets were verified. The victim was asked to install an application called AMLO via Google Chrome and follow specific instructions, including transferring money to the scammers’ accounts.

The victim, believing the scam, transferred over 600,000 baht in three transactions. Later, the scammers tricked her into transferring an additional 70,000 baht from a credit application on her phone. In total, the victim lost over 700,000 baht before realising the fraud and reporting it to the cyber police.

Subsequent investigations by the cyber police revealed that Angkana and Chanchai were part of the call centre gang, acting as mule account holders. They were apprehended in Sa Kaeo, where Angkana was found in Village 15 and Chanchai in Village 10. Both confessed to their involvement and were handed over to the police for prosecution, reported KhaoSod.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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