DSI: International scammers caught in massive call-centre bust

Photo courtesy of The Nation

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has dismantled a notorious call-centre syndicate operating from Nakhon Si Thammarat province.

Led by DSI’s acting director-general Police Major Yutthana Praedam, the crackdown unveiled a web of deceit spanning across Thailand, China, and Russia.

A total of 71 suspects, comprising 52 Chinese nationals and 19 Thai accomplices, were arrested during the raid orchestrated by DSI officers. The sweep, executed across three locations in the southern province, unearthed a trove of incriminating evidence.

Among the confiscated items were 223 computers, 1,001 smartphones, 14 iPad tablets, 298 SIM cards, and 86 bank books, detailed by the DSI chief at a press conference held at the Chawang District Police Station.

Accompanied by Police Captain Khemchat Prakaihongmanee, the masterminds behind the call-centre ring were exposed. Collaborating agencies, including the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) and the Personal Data Protection Commission, reinforced the resolve to combat such criminal activities.

In a series of raids, luxury houses and shophouses were unmasked as dens of villainy, teeming with unsuspecting pawns in the grand scheme of exploitation. Fuelled by grievances dating back to November, the call-centre charlatans had swindled millions through cryptocurrency schemes and illicit online ventures.

The multilingual operatives conversed fluently in Chinese, Russian, and Thai, camouflaging their deceit. Further, a trail of passports bearing frequent journeys to neighbouring Cambodia hinted at a web of international intrigue, reported The Nation.

The apprehended Chinese nationals were charged with violations ranging from immigration offences to tech-related crimes.

In related news, the DSI has disclosed that a rigorous probe will be undertaken into nine Phuket-based businesses suspected of employing Thai nominees to evade labour laws limiting specific industries to Thai nationals only. Among these organisations is the Green Elephant Sanctuary Park, managed by Urs Fehr, a 45 year old Swiss national known for an incident last month involving an alleged assault on a female doctor near his leased villa at Yamu Beach in Thalang district.

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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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