Police bust call centre gang targeting Thais

Police bust call centre gang targeting Thais

Joint Thai-UAE force arrest group in Dubai

This luxury house in the United Arab Emirates' largest city, Dubai, has been raided in a joint Thai-UAE operation against a gang of phone-call scammers, and 23 Thais and their Taiwanese boss arrested.
This luxury house in the United Arab Emirates' largest city, Dubai, has been raided in a joint Thai-UAE operation against a gang of phone-call scammers, and 23 Thais and their Taiwanese boss arrested.

A Dubai-based scam call centre which swindled victims in Thailand out of at least 50 million baht has been busted and 23 Thais and their Taiwanese boss caught in a joint operation involving Thai and Emirati police.

The gang worked out of a luxury house and fooled their victims into sending them money, deputy Tourist Police Bureau chief Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakphal said on Wednesday after returning from the UAE.

The call centre had been operating for about six months, with at least 50 million baht moving through their accounts. In early March alone, seven Thais were swindled of as much as one million baht, Pol Maj Gen Surachet said.

According to investigators, the 23 Thai workers were recruited and sent to the UAE by another Taiwanese man who was caught last year in Thailand after fleeing arrest in Taiwan 20 years ago.

They were also given lists of potential victims and names of high-ranking state officials. 

Investigators are examining whether these officials' names were used when extracting money from their victims.

The scammers usually passed themselves off as officials of state agencies or banks, then deceived the victims into sending them money with fabricated and often alarming or threatening stories.

According to investigators, the gang also had the means to bypass money transfer scrutiny procedures after tricking victims into giving them their one-time passwords, which are delivered to a customer's phone by a bank during an online transaction.

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Vocabulary

  • alarming: worrying or frightening - ซึ่งน่าตกใจ
  • bypass: to avoid dealing with someone or something - หลีกเลี่ยง
  • extract (verb): to get something from someone who does not want to give it to you - เค้น
  • fabricate: to invent or produce something false in order to deceive - สร้างข้อมูลหรือเรื่องราวที่ไม่เป็นความจริง
  • flee: to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger - หนี อพยพ
  • fool: to trick somebody into believing something that is not true - หลอกลวง, ลวงให้เข้าใจผิด
  • procedure: a way of doing something - ขั้นตอนการดำเนินการ
  • scammer (noun): a criminal is clever at tricking you out of your money by taking advantage of any weaknesses they can discover - นักฉ้อโกง, นักหลอกลวง
  • scrutiny: careful and thorough examination - การตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
  • swindle: to obtain money dishonestly from someone by deceiving or cheating them - โกง
  • threatening (adj): expressing a threat of harm or violence -
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