Connect with us

Thailand

Dozens of Thais rescued from Chinese gang, phone scam centre in Cambodia

Jay Shine

Published

 on 

Thai police officers debrief a group of Thais after being rescued from the phone scam centre and repatriated to Thailand. Credit: Royal Thai Police

Thai police forces have reportedly rescued dozens of Thai nationals who were allegedly being held captive by a Chinese gang operating a phone scam centre in a Cambodian coastal gambling town. About two dozen Thais were rescued last Sunday from a guarded townhouse in Sihanoukville, after negotiating with the Chinese gangsters who were running the operation.

Pictures from the Royal Thai Police show a 10 storey building reinforced with razor wire and security cameras. Police say they were able to rescue the Thai nations from the scam centre after traveling to the Cambodian seaside town, where they engaged in extensive negotiations with a gang of Chinese men, according to a report by Al Jazeera.

The Royal Thai Police say they’ve already rescued about 700 Thais who were being held captive and exploited by Chinese gangs for various scam operations in Cambodia. Police say the scam gangs could still be holding more than 1,500 Thais against their will in the Sihanoukville area alone.

According to people who were rescued from the building, each captive Thai was required to ‘scam’ at least US$15,000, or around 505,000 baht, every month, while under the threat of being sold to another gang if they couldn’t get enough deals done.

“Teerapat” and his wife “Dao” were two such Thais who were tricked into joining the scam, lured with the false promises of lucrative “online sales jobs” with transportation, room and board included. After two years of pandemic in their small town near the border in eastern Thailand, the offer seemed too good to refuse. Speaking to Al Jazeera, he related the details of their ordeal…

“I normally don’t trust people easily. But we were both desperate for money so when the broker said we could make up to US$2,000 a month, with everything paid for, transport and room and board, we were convinced… Had I known that my job was to scam other Thais, I would have never gone.”

When they arrived at a guarded, 12 story building, they quickly realised they weren’t going to be doing online sales after all. It was just a lie to lure them it. Instead, they were forced to pose as policemen, customs officials or potential investors and make unsolicited phone calls, pressuring unsuspecting Thais across the border to make money transfers to the gangers’ bank accounts.

In a statement, a high-ranking Thai police officer, Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn (aka. Big Joke), said Thai police have so far rescued and repatriated about 700 Thais from Cambodia. They said that most of them were forced into debt bondage, unable to pay the hefty price of several thousand US dollars to regain their freedom.

“We’ve issued human trafficking warrants for international organised gangs as well as prosecuted brokers who smuggled Thais through illegal border crossings into Cambodia.”

According to various media reports, organised criminal gangs in the Sihanoukville areas have lured hundreds of Southeast Asians, including Thais, Malaysians, Indonesians and Filipinos. Sihanoukville is a notoriously crime-infested beach town riddled with casinos and overrun with Chinese online gangs.

Gangsters in the area routinely head to Thailand, targeting farmers languishing in small villages in between harvest seasons. Unfortunately, many people are duped into forced labour at factories and on fishing boats, or more recently, at scam centres, where they find themselves being exploited by criminal syndicates and unable to escape.

According to Royal Thai Police spokesman Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen…

“Most of the kingpins are in China but they employ people all the way down the line in neighbouring countries. When the Thai recruits learn that their job is to scam their fellow Thais, they don’t want to do it any more. But they can’t leave so they have to keep working for the gang.”

Dozens of Thais rescued from Chinese gang, phone scam centre in Cambodia | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: The building where a Chinese gang was holding Thais captive to operate a phone scam centre in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Credit: Royal Thai Police

SOURCE: Al Jazeera

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Looking for your next home in Thailand? Let us match you with a local expert in minutes!

Thank you for your interest!

One of our agents will
reach out to you soon.

I want to:
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • United States+1
  • United Kingdom+44
  • Australia+61
  • Afghanistan (‫افغانستان‬‎)+93
  • Albania (Shqipëri)+355
  • Algeria (‫الجزائر‬‎)+213
  • American Samoa+1684
  • Andorra+376
  • Angola+244
  • Anguilla+1264
  • Antigua and Barbuda+1268
  • Argentina+54
  • Armenia (Հայաստան)+374
  • Aruba+297
  • Australia+61
  • Austria (Österreich)+43
  • Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan)+994
  • Bahamas+1242
  • Bahrain (‫البحرين‬‎)+973
  • Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)+880
  • Barbados+1246
  • Belarus (Беларусь)+375
  • Belgium (België)+32
  • Belize+501
  • Benin (Bénin)+229
  • Bermuda+1441
  • Bhutan (འབྲུག)+975
  • Bolivia+591
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Босна и Херцеговина)+387
  • Botswana+267
  • Brazil (Brasil)+55
  • British Indian Ocean Territory+246
  • British Virgin Islands+1284
  • Brunei+673
  • Bulgaria (България)+359
  • Burkina Faso+226
  • Burundi (Uburundi)+257
  • Cambodia (កម្ពុជា)+855
  • Cameroon (Cameroun)+237
  • Canada+1
  • Cape Verde (Kabu Verdi)+238
  • Caribbean Netherlands+599
  • Cayman Islands+1345
  • Central African Republic (République centrafricaine)+236
  • Chad (Tchad)+235
  • Chile+56
  • China (中国)+86
  • Christmas Island+61
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands+61
  • Colombia+57
  • Comoros (‫جزر القمر‬‎)+269
  • Congo (DRC) (Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo)+243
  • Congo (Republic) (Congo-Brazzaville)+242
  • Cook Islands+682
  • Costa Rica+506
  • Côte d’Ivoire+225
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)+385
  • Cuba+53
  • Curaçao+599
  • Cyprus (Κύπρος)+357
  • Czech Republic (Česká republika)+420
  • Denmark (Danmark)+45
  • Djibouti+253
  • Dominica+1767
  • Dominican Republic (República Dominicana)+1
  • Ecuador+593
  • Egypt (‫مصر‬‎)+20
  • El Salvador+503
  • Equatorial Guinea (Guinea Ecuatorial)+240
  • Eritrea+291
  • Estonia (Eesti)+372
  • Ethiopia+251
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)+500
  • Faroe Islands (Føroyar)+298
  • Fiji+679
  • Finland (Suomi)+358
  • France+33
  • French Guiana (Guyane française)+594
  • French Polynesia (Polynésie française)+689
  • Gabon+241
  • Gambia+220
  • Georgia (საქართველო)+995
  • Germany (Deutschland)+49
  • Ghana (Gaana)+233
  • Gibraltar+350
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)+30
  • Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)+299
  • Grenada+1473
  • Guadeloupe+590
  • Guam+1671
  • Guatemala+502
  • Guernsey+44
  • Guinea (Guinée)+224
  • Guinea-Bissau (Guiné Bissau)+245
  • Guyana+592
  • Haiti+509
  • Honduras+504
  • Hong Kong (香港)+852
  • Hungary (Magyarország)+36
  • Iceland (Ísland)+354
  • India (भारत)+91
  • Indonesia+62
  • Iran (‫ایران‬‎)+98
  • Iraq (‫العراق‬‎)+964
  • Ireland+353
  • Isle of Man+44
  • Israel (‫ישראל‬‎)+972
  • Italy (Italia)+39
  • Jamaica+1
  • Japan (日本)+81
  • Jersey+44
  • Jordan (‫الأردن‬‎)+962
  • Kazakhstan (Казахстан)+7
  • Kenya+254
  • Kiribati+686
  • Kosovo+383
  • Kuwait (‫الكويت‬‎)+965
  • Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан)+996
  • Laos (ລາວ)+856
  • Latvia (Latvija)+371
  • Lebanon (‫لبنان‬‎)+961
  • Lesotho+266
  • Liberia+231
  • Libya (‫ليبيا‬‎)+218
  • Liechtenstein+423
  • Lithuania (Lietuva)+370
  • Luxembourg+352
  • Macau (澳門)+853
  • Macedonia (FYROM) (Македонија)+389
  • Madagascar (Madagasikara)+261
  • Malawi+265
  • Malaysia+60
  • Maldives+960
  • Mali+223
  • Malta+356
  • Marshall Islands+692
  • Martinique+596
  • Mauritania (‫موريتانيا‬‎)+222
  • Mauritius (Moris)+230
  • Mayotte+262
  • Mexico (México)+52
  • Micronesia+691
  • Moldova (Republica Moldova)+373
  • Monaco+377
  • Mongolia (Монгол)+976
  • Montenegro (Crna Gora)+382
  • Montserrat+1664
  • Morocco (‫المغرب‬‎)+212
  • Mozambique (Moçambique)+258
  • Myanmar (Burma) (မြန်မာ)+95
  • Namibia (Namibië)+264
  • Nauru+674
  • Nepal (नेपाल)+977
  • Netherlands (Nederland)+31
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)+687
  • New Zealand+64
  • Nicaragua+505
  • Niger (Nijar)+227
  • Nigeria+234
  • Niue+683
  • Norfolk Island+672
  • North Korea (조선 민주주의 인민 공화국)+850
  • Northern Mariana Islands+1670
  • Norway (Norge)+47
  • Oman (‫عُمان‬‎)+968
  • Pakistan (‫پاکستان‬‎)+92
  • Palau+680
  • Palestine (‫فلسطين‬‎)+970
  • Panama (Panamá)+507
  • Papua New Guinea+675
  • Paraguay+595
  • Peru (Perú)+51
  • Philippines+63
  • Poland (Polska)+48
  • Portugal+351
  • Puerto Rico+1
  • Qatar (‫قطر‬‎)+974
  • Réunion (La Réunion)+262
  • Romania (România)+40
  • Russia (Россия)+7
  • Rwanda+250
  • Saint Barthélemy+590
  • Saint Helena+290
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis+1869
  • Saint Lucia+1758
  • Saint Martin (Saint-Martin (partie française))+590
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon)+508
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1784
  • Samoa+685
  • San Marino+378
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe)+239
  • Saudi Arabia (‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬‎)+966
  • Senegal (Sénégal)+221
  • Serbia (Србија)+381
  • Seychelles+248
  • Sierra Leone+232
  • Singapore+65
  • Sint Maarten+1721
  • Slovakia (Slovensko)+421
  • Slovenia (Slovenija)+386
  • Solomon Islands+677
  • Somalia (Soomaaliya)+252
  • South Africa+27
  • South Korea (대한민국)+82
  • South Sudan (‫جنوب السودان‬‎)+211
  • Spain (España)+34
  • Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාව)+94
  • Sudan (‫السودان‬‎)+249
  • Suriname+597
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen+47
  • Swaziland+268
  • Sweden (Sverige)+46
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)+41
  • Syria (‫سوريا‬‎)+963
  • Taiwan (台灣)+886
  • Tajikistan+992
  • Tanzania+255
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • Timor-Leste+670
  • Togo+228
  • Tokelau+690
  • Tonga+676
  • Trinidad and Tobago+1868
  • Tunisia (‫تونس‬‎)+216
  • Turkey (Türkiye)+90
  • Turkmenistan+993
  • Turks and Caicos Islands+1649
  • Tuvalu+688
  • U.S. Virgin Islands+1340
  • Uganda+256
  • Ukraine (Україна)+380
  • United Arab Emirates (‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة‬‎)+971
  • United Kingdom+44
  • United States+1
  • Uruguay+598
  • Uzbekistan (Oʻzbekiston)+998
  • Vanuatu+678
  • Vatican City (Città del Vaticano)+39
  • Venezuela+58
  • Vietnam (Việt Nam)+84
  • Wallis and Futuna (Wallis-et-Futuna)+681
  • Western Sahara (‫الصحراء الغربية‬‎)+212
  • Yemen (‫اليمن‬‎)+967
  • Zambia+260
  • Zimbabwe+263
  • Åland Islands+358

    A longtime expat in Asia with a degree in journalism and creative writing. Highlights include writing for Condé Nast Traveller and Apple Music. In his spare time, Jay enjoys writing poetry, brewing traditional Chinese tea and lounging with his calico soi cat, Almond.

    image

    Follow Thaiger by email:

    Crime12 mins ago

    “Mega rich” Bangkok father and daughter in arrested in Bahrain trafficking case

    Insurgency1 hour ago

    Thailand and Malaysia strengthen bilateral ties in bid to stamp out insurgency

    Crime1 hour ago

    Murder-suicide in north east Thailand

    Sponsored4 hours ago

    Regents International School Pattaya – the only school in Thailand to offer IBDP and A Level programme

    image
    Thailand1 hour ago

    Slow loris dies from electric shock in southern Thailand

    Thailand2 hours ago

    Thailand to borrow 20 billion baht to maintain fuel subsidies

    Crime2 hours ago

    Governor to drain the swamp with Bangkok’s criminal fraternity

    image
    Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
    Phuket2 hours ago

    Phuket thief allegedly stole more than 30 times, said he needed gaming money

    Crime3 hours ago

    Man threatens PM Prayut’s daughters on Twitter, sentenced to 5 years in prison

    South3 hours ago

    Tourists who went missing in southern Thailand park found safe

    Tourism3 hours ago

    Japan lifts travel advisory for Thailand, 35 other countries

    Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

    Health officials call for more elderly Thais to get their Covid-19 boosters

    Thailand3 hours ago

    Thais in Japan protest in front of PM Prayut’s hotel

    Eastern Thailand4 hours ago

    Driver cheats death after flying object smashes through windscreen

    Thailand4 hours ago

    Thailand’s authorities launch donation campaign to feed rescued animals

    Thailand4 hours ago

    Thailand prepares for monkeypox outbreak, asks WHO for smallpox vaccine supply

    Thailand9 months ago

    Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

    Phuket1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

    Tourism1 year ago

    In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

    Trending