Thai government accused of ignoring call centre gangs problem

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Thai government came under fire from the opposition Move Forward Party (MFP), who accused them of reneging on their commitment to eradicate call centre gangs. These criminal outfits, operating from across the Thai-Myanmar border, are becoming an escalating menace to Thailand and beyond.

List-MP of the MFP, Rangsiman Rome, suggested that the government’s seeming indifference to the widespread issue of call centre scams may be due to their alleged connections with a coalition party. This party is said to have ties with influential figures linked to casinos in Myanmar, which are reportedly connected to the call centre gangs.

Rangsiman Rome argued that doubts are being raised about the government’s work efficiency during a general debate against the government in the House of Representatives.

He went on to reveal that in 2020, over 1.7 million scam calls were recorded in the country, which escalated to an alarming 17 million by 2022. The economic impact of these scams is immense, causing damage worth at least 40 billion baht. This figure exceeds the budget of some ministries, he added.

In Myanmar, the township of Myawaddy, situated just north of the Thai border town of Mae Sot, is infamous as a hub for online gambling, scamming, and trafficking activities. Rangsiman claimed that at least 17 casinos in Myawaddy have Thai business partners.

The MFP MP singled out Myawaddy Complex, owned by a former police major general with close ties to the government. There is also Sky Complex owned by a former police sub-lieutenant, and Eastern Complex casino which is owned by a gang of scammers. Another casino is reportedly owned by a former permanent secretary for defence.

“Could these individuals be hindering the Thai government in addressing the issue in Myawaddy?”

Hidden links

Rangsiman voiced concerns about the government’s potential negligence and reluctance to take action against scammers. This, he suggested, could be due to the fear that any severe crackdown might reveal the link between high-ranking officials and the criminal network, reported Bangkok Post.

“Despite being aware of the criminal operations across the border, Thailand still permits internet connections and mobile phone signals to support these activities. We’ve yet to take any serious action to stop it.”

He proposed that the government adopt a negotiation model involving China and the Myanmar junta to combat the gangs.

Bangkok NewsCrime NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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