Thai call centre gangsters arrested in Cambodia
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Thai call centre gangsters arrested in Cambodia

Twelve Thai call centre scam gang suspects, including their leader, have been arrested at their base in Cambodia, the Royal Thai Police's Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) said on Saturday.

Pol Lt Gen Worawat Watnakornbancha, the CCIB commissioner, said the gang was arrested jointly by CCIB Division 2 and Cambodian police. The Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for all 15 members.

The operation, nicknamed "Hang Up," arrested 12 members aged 21–35, including the leader identified as Pathipan or A-Ching, 21, at the base in O Smach City in Oddar Meanchey province, near the Thailand border of Surin province.

Police are still hunting for the other three members who managed to flee the scene, added Pol Lt Gen Worawat.

The investigation started after one victim reported being scammed by the gang. This victim was reported to have transferred money to the gang multiple times, resulting in a total loss of 2.37 million baht in savings, said Pol Lt Gen Worawat.

According to the investigation, the gang had made at least 1 billion baht in income from scams each year, with most of their victims being retirees.

For the tricks, Pol Lt Gen Worawat said the gang had divided their members in teams with role play as a banker, police officers and an adviser.

The first call claimed to be from a banker from Tak province to notify a victim of money laundering, as the victim had an unclarified credit card debt.

If the victim denied the accusation, the scammer told the victim to contact the police in Tak and gave a Line ID for convenient contact. The fake policeman ordered the victim to transfer money for an investigation. If the victim was hesitant, another call would be made to reassure them of the safe transfer.

The Cambodian police said Thai nationals had filed a petition with the Royal Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh about being tricked into working as scam operators, said Pol Lt Gen Worawat.

Four victims who worked for the gang were earlier rescued before the arrest operation.

All the suspects admitted the crime, saying they worked under Mr Pathipan. The gang leader punished them physically, including administering electric shocks, if their team failed to make 20 million baht a week, said Pol Lt Gen Worawat.

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