Ministry of Digital Economy and Society plans to return seized assets to fraud victims
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Ministry of Digital Economy and Society plans to return seized assets to fraud victims

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) is planning to return to victims more than 10 billion baht worth of money and assets seized from call centre scam gangs.

Minister Prasert Jantararuangtong said yesterday the seized assets, including 6 billion baht in cash, had been recouped by the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) since 2021.

Amlo has decided to clear out all the seized assets by returning them to the victims, he said.

Anyone defrauded by the call centres must submit bank payment confirmation to Amlo showing a connection to the suspects in the networks, Mr Prasert said. Petitions can be submitted to the Amlo office via postal service, in person or via email, he added.

After Amlo receives the evidence, it will be passed on to the court to seek asset protection for the victims. The asset investigation process is due to be completed within a year, he said.

The victims are expected to receive the assets returned at a value not greater than the total assets Amlo had in hand.

Those who did not file a petition with the police earlier can now submit evidence to Amlo and expect to have their assets returned as well, Mr Prasert said. Amlo's plan to return the assets will be announced in the Royal Gazette in 90 days.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Prasert, together with the Royal Thai Police's Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) and a cryptocurrency agency, Binance, gave a press briefing about a raid on a Chinese-led hybrid scam syndicate that caused at least 250 million baht of damage.

During the operation, a suspect identified as Su Shoaxian and three other Chinese were arrested and 15 assets, valued at 600 million baht or more, were seized. According to the investigation, the suspects lured victims to invest in cryptocurrency trading on a fake mobile application. They were duped into transferring money to the accounts, which claimed to be digital exchanges. The accounts belong to Mr Su.

Further investigation led to the arrest of four additional suspects: Wisit, 31; Siraphat, 25; a Chinese national named Dongjian, 45; and a Singaporean named Wei King Kek, 41.

They were arrested for fraud, money laundering, participating in transnational crime organisations, and the deceitful importation of distorted computer data.

The police also issued 26 more arrest warrants, said Mr Prasert.

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