The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) has asked the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) to investigate a call centre scam after its victims were repatriated from conflict-ridden Myanmar.
DES Minister Prasert Jantararuangtong said a group of 41 Thai nationals repatriated from the besieged town of Laukkaing in Shan State on Saturday are now going through background checks. The Thais were mix of innocent people, traffickers in the scam and those lured into working for the scam.
The background checks were being performed to separate the three groups, said Mr Prasert, who added the government has promised to do everything in its power to keep Thai citizens safe from the conflict.
The ministry has asked CIB chief Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, chairman of the Anti-Online Scam Operation Centre (AOC), to investigate. The aim is gather evidence to expand prosecutions against the suspects.
The government has also worked closely with agencies in charge of stamping out call centre scammers, said Mr Prasert, adding Thai nationals should be wary of foreign nationals who try to coax them into working overseas.
As of Sunday, Myanmar authorities have sent 266 Thai nationals to the Chinese border waiting to be repatriated, according to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. After crossing the border, the Thais travel back to Thailand on chartered flights from Kunming, via AirAsia and Thai Lion Air.
Five people were reported to be unwell. They underwent a medical check by staff from the Public Health Ministry before departing. The Royal Thai Consulate-General at Kunming also supplied food and drinks to those returning while working with the Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing on flight arrangements.
The arrivals also were subject to immigration checks by the Immigration Bureau.
The Royal Thai Police screen them following the so-called National Referral Mechanism (NRM), according to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The NRM was designed to enable anti-trafficking agencies to share information related to human trafficking or forced labour cases.