Police have arrested four men, two Taiwanese and two Japanese, for allegedly running a call scam that defrauded about 17,500 victims in Japan out of the equivalent 9.5 billion baht in less than two years.
Victims were told by callers posing as bank officials and police that their accounts were compromised by a data leak and they should transfer their money to "secure accounts" provided by the fraudsters.
The two Taiwanese were the gang leaders according to police, who identified them only as Zhen, 50, and He, 40. Their Japanese accomplices, who made the calls, were named as Daisuke, 49, and Taro, 41.
Pol Col Rathachote Chotikhun, deputy chief investigator of the Immigration Bureau, told reporters on Wednesday the two Taiwanese and one of the Japanese suspects were arrested at two adjacent houses in a housing estate in Samut Sakhon province. The other Japanese man was arrested in Krabi province.
He did not reveal when.
Pol Col Rathachote said one of the two houses was used as a call centre by the two Japanese, while the Taiwanese suspects occupied the other house.
Police seized as evidence 11 mobile phones, two notebook computers, call details written in Japanese and five cash and credit cards found at the two houses.
The two Japanese callers were allegedly paid 200,000 yen a month (about 47,000 baht) and also received 10% of the victims' stolen money.
Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn said the gang tricked their victims in Japan out of about 9.5 billion baht (about 40 billion yen) in less than two years.