Police are firming a plan to work with Cambodia authorities in an operation to arrest Thais working as call centre scammers there while the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) will arrange a ship to bring those arrested back to Thailand.
Assistant national police chief, Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, who is in charge of combating human trafficking operations, told the Bangkok Post yesterday there are about 2,800-3,000 Thais working as call centre scammers, some of whom were duped by the call centre gangs.
He said Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon instructed him to work with Cambodian police to arrest and send the Thais back.
"There are about 2,800-3,000 of them. We will ask Cambodian police to arrest them and they will be sent back to Thailand. They will be screened and categorised before legal action is taken,'' Pol Lt Gen Surachate said.
He said he will lead a team of senior police to fly to Phnom Penh and some other cities on April 2 to take part in the operation, which is expected to take several days.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate also said Gen Prawit had asked the RTN to arrange a large ship to bring the arrested Thai workers back to Thailand.
A source at the Immigration Bureau previously said not all Thais employed by call centre gangs in Cambodia had been duped and forced to work there.
In fact, more than 90% of Thais had crossed the border to Cambodia of their own accord and consented to working for the gangs.
Also, arranging for repatriation may be difficult as the gangs may resist attempts to arrest the workers.
Some gang leaders are Chinese nationals and believed to be well-connected to high-ranking officials in Cambodia, according to the source.