Last Updated: 2017-12-07
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By Mohd Haikal Mohd Isa

BANGKOK, Thailand Dec 7 (NNN-Bernama) – The Thai police have denied the Kingdom has become a magnet for call centre syndicates following the increasing number of arrests related to the crime, including 21 people in the latest police operations.

Among the 21 arrested in yesterday's police raids in Bangkok and provinces in northern Thailand were three Taiwanese men, with one of them was suspected to be the ‘brains’ behind the syndicate.

"Thailand is not a centre for call scam syndicates. The syndicates behind call scam moved from one country to another if their activities are suppressed by the authorities," Royal Thai Police Commander, Lt Gen Thanitsak Teerasawat told the media here today.

To date, he said the police had arrested 98 suspects from 146 arrest warrants issued this year and were in the midst of tracking another 48 suspects who remained at large.

Thanitsak said members of the Taiwanese-led syndicate busted by the police yesterday had confessed to their crime and were looking at 15 years’ imprisonment upon conviction under the Prevention and Suppression against Participation in Transnational Organised Criminal Syndicate Act.

Meanwhile, Region 5 Police head, Lt Gen Poonsap Prasertsak said prior to operating in Thailand, the Taiwanese-led call centre syndicate had used Malaysia as its base before being forced to shift their operations to the Kingdom, following action by the Malaysian authorities.

He said some members of the syndicate moved their criminal activities to Cambodia.

"The authorities began monitoring the syndicate about five to six months ago before we made our move yesterday," he said, adding that unlike other call centre syndicates busted by the Thai authorities before this, it was headed by foreigners.

The latest syndicate was led by a young Taiwanese, he said.

During the media conference today, four members of the syndicate showcased the method they used to deceive the victims into parting with their hard-earned money.

One of them who claimed to have received 38,000 Baht (about RM4,800) from the syndicate last month for the job he did, said he had contacted the victims and accused them of having criminal records which necessitated the seizure of their money.--NNN-BERNAMA