Cambodian call centre scammers rounded up on Thai border

Dozens of Cambodian call centre scammers have been rounded up by police in Sa Kaeo province.

Through the website, police received complaints from victims duped into investing in a scam named “Amata” that promised high returns. Upon the due date, the victims were unable to withdraw any money and even went so far as to invest more.

An investigation revealed a Cambodian, Monorom Som, paying a monthly Internet bill of more than 200,000 baht (US$6,000) in Thailand with an illegal cross-border connection to Cambodia. Monorom often travelled to Cambodia where he operated an Internet service business.

Police found a connection between Monorom and Siapo Po-arnon, a popular Internet figure who advised a House panel on gambling, convicted this week and sentenced to 54 years in prison

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Earlier, police seized more than 200,000 SIM cards used for call centre scams, after which (scam-related) crime dropped by about 25%. Police will now deal with internet cables strung across the Cambodian border.

The network of scammers has been running for 12 years, and state officials were involved, police said. A house in tambon Ban Mai also caught the eyes of police when the house owner paid a monthly Internet bill of more than 300,000 baht.

During the operation, dozens of call centre scammers were arrest arrested for opening accounts to launder money, including fraud, identity theft and disseminating false information.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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