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Thai, Philippine police crack down on call centre gang in Manila

Thai and Philippine police joined hands to crack down on call-centre scamsters operating from Manila who had duped Thais for over a year.


Their latest victim was a Nonthaburi resident who was reportedly deceived into wiring Bt2 million.

Sixteen Thai nationals were rounded up from a two-storey house in Manila’s Alabang area, along with their three Taiwanese supervisors, during Thursday’s raid.

Deputy chief of the Tourist Police Bureau Pol Maj-General Surachate Hakparn led a team of Thai police officers, who collaborated with Philippine police in the operation.

The Thai suspects reportedly admitted to have made phone calls to dupe their compatriots based on the orders they were given. They insisted that they had been cheated into working at the call-centre. However, police found that many of them had records of travelling between Thailand and the Philippines multiple times, Surachaste said.

The house from where they operated was equipped with CCTV cameras to detect any intrusion and had many computers and phones for workers to use to lure victims to wire money to the gang’s bank accounts.

Officers also found a list with names of state officials for reference and some prepared scripts between the impostors and potential victims.

Surachate said the gang had changed its modus operandi of having its people withdraw the ill-gotten money in cash at ATMs in Thailand and wire back to using an e-banking service that allowed them to access the money in one account online.

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