Thai trio arrested for fraud and coercion in job scam

Photo courtesy of Matichon

Three Thais were arrested yesterday for fraud and coercion by tricking victims into a job scam and by forcing them to open mule accounts in the eastern region and West Thailand.

Police Major General Saruti, Sopha District, Commander of the Provincial Crime Suppression Division, Pol. Col. Pattanaphong Sriphinphao, Superintendent of Region 2, Provincial Crime Suppression Division, Pol. Lt. Col. Narong Wet Jiwadet, Police Station 2, Crime Suppression Division, yesterday, January 18, arrested 20 year old Panchita Phraphapphon, 20 year old Janjira Kongyod, 19 year old Phongkorn Khamta.

Panchita was arrested on the road in front of the ranger camp, Khlong Hat District, Sa Kaeo province, while Phongkorn and Janjira were arrested at Hat Kham Subdistrict, Kui Buri District, Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

An arrest warrant from the Criminal Court charged the trio with participating in a transnational criminal organisation, conspiring to deceive others in a job scam, using threats and violence, coercion, and kidnap.

In November last year, officials from the Paweena Hongsakul Foundation for Children and Women investigated the case of 26 victims who were tricked into opening mule accounts in Poipet, Cambodia. The officials met with police from the Crime Suppression Division to help track down and arrest the fraudsters.

The trio operated a call centre and used a Facebook account to make job postings to lure victims for work and to exchange currency. The posts claimed that victims would receive a salary of 35,000 to 40,000 baht per month but there was a condition that victims would need to open 10 bank accounts to use for exchanging money. Victims were also tricked into believing that a compensation of 5,000 baht per account would be given, reported Matichon.

However, when the victims arrived in Poipet, Cambodia, they were forced to open mule accounts. Police learned later that the three suspects had returned to Thailand from Cambodia.

All three suspects were questioned and they confessed that they were members of a Chinese call centre gang in Cambodia. Victims were falsely promised a commission of 10,000 baht per person and an additional 5,000 baht per mule account. Investigators from Division 2 of the Crime Suppression Division will continue with legal proceedings.

Crime NewsEastern Thailand NewsThailand News

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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