Police to look into job scam in Laos

Police to look into job scam in Laos

The Royal Thai Police (RTP) has set up a panel to help investigate and rescue, if necessary, Thais lured into working for abusive scammers in Laos under the pretext of generous salaries.

Assistant police chief Pol Lt Gen Torsak Sukvimol yesterday held a meeting after five Thais, aged 20-30, claimed they had been misled and forced to work in menial positions at a Chinese-run casino in Laos.

Kings Roman Casino is run under a deal between Laos and China. It is located in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Laos' Bokeo province, opposite Chiang Rai.

Pol Lt Gen Torsak said a panel has been set up by many related agencies to investigate whether the case involves human trafficking.

If confirmed, police will pursue the matter in accordance with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's determination to raise the rank of the country to meet international standards in human trafficking suppression.

"Officials insist that the panel will expedite the investigation. If the case is confirmed to be human trafficking, help will be sent for six others who reportedly still remain," said Pol Lt Gen Torsak.

The five -- two of them women -- were part of a group of 15 people, all of whom came from the same village. In addition to the five, 11 other people claimed to have been deceived and prevented from leaving their jobs.

Pol Lt Gen Torsak said the five told police that they were persuaded by their neighbours to work as administrators for online casino websites in Laos, on salaries of 30,000 baht under a six-month contract.

After crossing the Mekong River to Laos, a private company that claimed to be part of Kings Roman project forced the five to clone profiles of Facebook and Instagram users to use as bait in a gold trading scam.

If they failed to comply, their salaries were withheld and they were threatened with being sold to another gang. As the jobs are illegal, the five had to pay 44,500 baht for assistance to cross the border.

Members of the group who stayed in Laos said that were now being forced by a new gang to work 15-hour shifts every day, he said.

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