Scammers raided, B1bn assets impounded

Scammers raided, B1bn assets impounded

Officials place an
Officials place an "impounded" notice on a Lamborghini car during the raids on homes of suspected Thai and foreign scammers on Wednesday morning. (Photo supplied)

Police raided homes and businesses linked to suspected Thai and foreign scammers and impounded assets worth about 1 billion baht, including luxury houses and cars, in Bangkok and other provinces on Wednesday morning.

About 200 officers in total from the Central Investigation Bureau, Anti-Money Laundering Office and public prosecutors entered and searched 30 locations in Bangkok, Samut Prakan and Udon Thani provinces about  6am.

Pol Maj Gen Athip Pongsiwapai, commander of the Technology Crime Suppression Division, said the targets were believed linked to Thai and foreign suspects in romance and investment scams and money-laundering.

They included 16 luxury houses on Krungthep Kreetha Road, most priced around 50 million baht.

Officials also raided a law firm owned by a Chinese suspect through a Thai proxy. The firm is suspected of laundering money for illicit businesses.

The officials had warrants for the arrest of 14 suspects including a Thai model who was among nine suspects taken into custody on Wednesday. The arrested suspects also included Chinese and Myanmar people.

Pol Maj Gen Athip said the raids followed a complaint from a Thai woman lured by a romance scam gang into a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment. She filed her complaint at Sam Rong Nuea police station in Samut Prakan province.

Detectives later found out the scammers made numerous transactions converting digital currency into baht. The cash was used to buy luxury residences in Bangkok and nearby provinces, as well as luxury cars.

About one billion baht worth of cash and digital assets had circulated through their accounts, Pol Maj Gen Athip said.

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