Two Ukrainians nabbed in Phuket wanted by the US

Two Ukrainians nabbed in Phuket wanted by the US

Two Ukrainians who ran job placement agencies in the United States and are accused there of colluding to shelter illegal migrants, money laundering and tax fraud have been arrested in Phuket.

The arrests were announced jointly yesterday by Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) commissioner Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, Crime Suppression Division (CSD) chief Pol Maj Montri Khetkhan and Eric McLoughlin, the US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) regional attache.

The men, identified as Oleksandr Yurchyk, 37, and Oleg Olynyk, 39, were wanted on arrest warrants in the United States for colluding to shelter illegal migrants, money laundering and tax evasion, Pol Maj Gen Jirabhop said.

The HSI had sought the CIB's cooperation in tracking down the two men, who fled to Thailand after committing the alleged offences between 2007 and 2021.

They ran job placement agencies in Florida and reportedly placed hundreds of illegal migrant workers in jobs at hotels, bars, restaurants and other places.

They had allegedly illegally earned the equivalent of 2.25 billion baht and evaded US taxes equal to 337 million baht, the CIB chief said.

The police investigation led to the arrest of the two suspects at a villa in Phuket on Tuesday. The two men were questioned with the help of an interpreter. They admitted they were the people named in the US arrest warrants and said they would fight the case in court. US authorities will seek their extradition to stand trial in America.

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