Thailand rescue: Moroccan call centre scam victims freed

Photo via Transborder News

Immigration Bureau officers in Thailand helped six Moroccans return to Morocco. They were released by a call centre scam gang in Myanmar after their families paid 300,000 baht in ransom.

The release of the six Moroccan victims follows the previous release of two other Moroccan nationals. The first two victims paid 200,000 baht in ransom to the scam gang. The two turned to The Exodus Road Foundation for assistance to free others, of which there are at least 21 Moroccans.

The two victims informed the foundation that they had been deceived into coming to Thailand. They were subsequently transported to Myanmar and coerced into working as call centre scammers.

The other six Moroccan victims were released yesterday, July 2, after paying US$10,000 (approximately 300,000 baht) to the scam gang. It remains unclear whether this amount was paid collectively or individually.

Initially, these victims had paid US$7,000 (around 257,000 baht) to the gang but did not gain the promised release. With assistance from the foundation and relevant Thai authorities, the victims managed to secure their freedom by making the US$10,000 payment.

Officers from the Immigration Bureau then took them to Tak province in northern Thailand, where they awaited their return to Morocco. They would be under the care of the Office of Social Development and Human Security until their trips back home were ready.

The other Moroccan victims who remain in custody of the gang are still waiting for help. Aside from Moroccan nationals, victims from other countries like Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, India, and the Philippines, are also waiting for assistance.

Channel 3 reported that 41 people from Sri Lanka were tricked into working in a new scam headquarters near Phop Phra district in Tak.


ORIGINAL STORY: 21 Moroccan held by call centre scam gang seeks Thailand’s help

Moroccan nationals held captive by a call centre scam gang in Myanmar, near Tak province in northern Thailand, appealed to the Thai government for help. They reported being forced to commit fraud, physically assaulted and held for ransom.

The Moroccans contacted The Exodus Road Foundation in April after being coerced into working as scammers by the gang in Myanmar’s Karen State, reportedly led by Chinese nationals. They shared pictures of themselves and their injuries with the foundation.

The victims explained that they were invited to work in Thailand. However, upon arrival, they were taken to the scam gang’s headquarters in Myanmar and held for ransom, with demands ranging from US$6,000 to US$7,000 (about 250,000 baht).

If unable to pay, they were forced to work as call centre scammers and might be transferred to other scam operations.

The foundation reported the matter to the Moroccan Embassy in Thailand, the Myanmar Embassy, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 17. However, a month later, there was no progress on the case.

Only two Moroccans were released in early June. They revealed they had travelled to Thailand for e-commerce jobs, promised US$1,000 initially and US$2,000 with improved skills.

No update made

Leaving Morocco on February 25 with five others, they arrived at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport on March 2. They then travelled to the Mae Sot district in Tak province and were picked up by a minivan, which took them across the river to what they later learned was Myanmar.

According to the victims, the scam gang leaders believed to be Chinese, took them to their headquarters and forced them into scamming operations.

The foundation then turned to the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), who investigated and identified each Moroccan victim.

The DKBA and The Exodus Road Foundation then filed another complaint with Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Fair Party MP Kannavee Suebsang, who has experience rescuing human trafficking victims from Myanmar.

According to Channel 3, 21 Moroccans are seeking assistance, but more are believed to be held captive. Their families are worried, as some victims received death threats for exposing the scam operation.

Kannavee emphasised that the Thai government should not ignore these lives, even if the crimes occurred outside Thailand. As of now, there are no updates from Thai authorities.

Crime NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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