Raid nets 58 Chinese for chat-app stock sales scam

Raid nets 58 Chinese for chat-app stock sales scam

Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, announces the arrest of 58 Chinese nationals who used Thailand as a base to persuade Chinese citizens to invest in manipulated stocks. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang, commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, announces the arrest of 58 Chinese nationals who used Thailand as a base to persuade Chinese citizens to invest in manipulated stocks. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

Fifty-eight Chinese nationals have been arrested at a Bangkok hotel for defrauding their compatriots through sales of manipulated, worthless shares using a chat-app.

They were detained by immigration police at a hotel on Soi Lat Phrao 101 in Wang Thong Lang district, after attracting suspicion by spending nearly all their time in their rooms. 

An investigation found that they were members of a Chinese stock manipulation racket preying on Chinese citizens.

Police raided rooms on the sixth and seventh floors, arresting a total of 58 Chinese nationals and seizing  200 mobile phones, 40 notebook computers, SIM cards and other items, immigration chief Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang said at a media conference on Wednesday.

The suspects had entered Thailand on tourist visas and then rented rooms at the hotel, which they used as a base for their operation.

They were each tasked with contacting potential Chinese victims through the WeChat app and persuading  them to invest in manipulated Chinese stocks. Many people had taken the bait. Each suspect was paid 6,000 yuan a month, about 30,000 baht.

Police said the suspects confessed to having manipulated stocks. They had no work permits when asked to show them.

All were initially charged with working illegally. As their operation posed a threat to society, they would have their visas revoked. They were taken to the Immigration Bureau for detention pending deportation to China.

A senior Immigration Bureau investigator explains a chart detailing the arrest of 58 Chinese nationals for alleged stock manipulation and defrauding their compatriots. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)



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