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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Dozens of Thai people freed from Chinese gang, phone scam centers in Cambodia

Thai police forces have rescued dozens of Thai civilians who were allegedly being held captive by a Chinese gang operating a phone scam center in a Cambodian coastal gambling town. Last Sunday, about two dozen Thai people were rescued from a guarded townhouse in Sihanoukville, after talks with Chinese gangsters running the operation.

Photos from the Royal Thai Police show a 10-storey building reinforced with razor wire and security cameras. Police say they were able to save the Thai nation from the scandal center after traveling to a Cambodian seaside town where they engaged in extensive talks with a gang of Chinese men, according to a report al Jazeera,

The Royal Thai Police say they have already rescued around 700 Thai people who were being held captive and exploited by Chinese gangs for various scam operations in Cambodia. Police say scam gangs may still have more than 1,500 Thai people against their will in the Sihanoukville area alone.

According to those rescued from the building, each captive Thai had to ‘scam’ of at least US$15,000, or about 505,000 baht, every month, while under threat of being sold to another gang if enough deals were not found.

“Terapat” and his wife “Dao” were two Thais who were tricked into being involved in the scam, lured with false promises of lucrative “online sales jobs”, including transportation, room and board. After a two-year pandemic in his small town near the border in eastern Thailand, it seemed too good to refuse the offer. talking to al JazeeraHe related the details of his exam…

“I don’t usually trust people easily. But we were both desperate for money, so when the broker said we could make up to US$2,000 a month, with everything paid for transportation and room and board, we were convinced…if I knew. Had my job been to scam other Thai people, I would never have gone.”

When they arrived in a guarded, 12-story building, they quickly realized they weren’t going to sell online. It was just a lie to tempt them. Instead, they were forced to pose as policemen, customs officials or potential investors and make unsolicited phone calls, pressuring unsuspecting Thais from across the border to transfer money to the gangsters’ bank accounts.

A high-ranking Thai police officer, Lieutenant General Surachete Hakpern (aka Big Jok), said in a statement that Thai police have so far rescued and repatriated nearly 700 Thais from Cambodia. He said most of them were bound in debt, unable to pay the hefty price of several thousand US dollars to gain their freedom.

“We have issued human trafficking warrants for international organized gangs as well as touts who smuggled Thais across the illegal border into Cambodia.”

According to various media reports, organized criminal gangs in the Sihanoukville areas have lured hundreds of Southeast Asians, including Thais, Malaysians, Indonesians and Filipinos. Sihanoukville is a notorious crime-ridden beach town filled with casinos and overrun with Chinese online gangs.

Gangsters from the region regularly visit Thailand, targeting farmers living in small villages in the middle of the harvest season. Unfortunately, many people are duped into forced labor in factories and on fishing boats, or more recently, scam centers, where they find themselves being exploited by criminal syndicates and unable to escape. .

According to Royal Thai Police spokesman Colonel Krisana Pattanacharoen…

“Most of the gangsters are in China but they fully employ people in neighboring countries. When Thai recruits learn that their job is to deceive their fellow Thais, they don’t want to do it anymore. But they can’t go so they have to keep working for the gang.”

Photo: The building in Sihanoukville, Cambodia where a Chinese gang was holding Thais captive for operating a phone scam centre. credit: Royal Thai Police

Source: al Jazeera

World Nation News Desk
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