64 Thais deported from Cambodia after scam crackdown

Photo by Thai Rath.

Over 60 Thais on Wednesday were deported from Cambodia after allegedly working for Chinese-funded call centre scams. The 64 Thais, including 39 men and 26 women, allegedly worked in centres in Preah Sihanouk, and Phnom Penh.

Many of the deported individuals were promised salaries of 20,000-30,000 baht per month. But one man said that he still has not been paid after working for three months. The man said he had worked for an online gambling platform, convincing Thai people to gamble.

The group was deported after crackdowns by Cambodian police. The crackdowns mostly involved online gambling, particularly in Preah Sihanouk. The city has a high number of Chinese nationals.

Chinese scam centres have a history of luring Thais into working abroad. Last week, it was reported that Southeast Asia’s traffickers were targeting young and tech-savvy people by luring them into scams like these.

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Cambodia in particular has become a hub of deception. Back in July, dozens of Thai scammers were arrested and illegal call centres were shut down. This was after a sophisticated months’ long Thai-Cambodian law enforcement operation. The operation closed the net on their fraudulent activity.

Many of the scammers in these call centres were also Southeast Asians duped into working for the gangs. The gangs are allegedly funded by a wider Chinese-run transnational crime syndicate.

After the latest incident in Cambodia, Thai immigration officials said that the group will be screened, to separate those whom arrest warrants have been issued for.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | Thai Rath

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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