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Thais arrested in call-centre raids in Cambodia

Eighty-nine Thais were arrested during raids on call-centres operating scams from Cambodia and will be repatriated to Thailand for legal proceedings, deputy national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas said on Monday.

Pol Gen Damrongsak, as director of the Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT), was speaking in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

He was accompanying Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, who is there to sign a memorandum of understanding with his Cambodian counterpart on mutual cooperation for the prevention and suppression of cybercrime.

Pol Gen Damrongsak said about 20 PCT police had earlier been sent to Cambodia to coordinate with local police in arresting Thais suspected of being members of call-centre gangs operating from Cablodia.

The gangs engage in phone scams, tricking victims into believing they are in imminent danger and then promising them relief from this invented threat – for a price.

The PCT police were divided into five teams and searched five different spots, armed with arrest warrants.

On June 21, a team raided the 12-storey Ching Cheng Hotel in Sihanoukville, a coastal city and the capital of Preah Sihanouk province, and arrested 21 suspects.

On the same day, a PCT team raided Po Lai casino on Pulowai road in Sihanoukville. None of the suspects were found there.

On July 6, a PCT team raided a spot at Pratu Daeng in Sihanoukville and arrested 18 suspects. One of them was Jirayu Poemchuen, a prime suspect who claimed to be the superintendent of Laem Chabang police station in Chon Buri’s Si Racha district.

The same day, a PCT team raided another spot in Sihanoukville and arrested 10 suspects.

On July 7, at Poi Pet town opposite Thailand’s Aranyaprathet, a PCT team arrested 25 members of a gang which claimed falsely to be part of DHL express delivery company.

During the raid, the police found 15 other Thai nationals mingling among the suspects. They were also detained for questioning.

In total, 89 Thai nationals were arrested in the raids, Pol Gen Damrongsak said. He thanked Cambodian police for their support.

He said the arrested Thais were still in Cambodia for proceedings under the immigration law. They would later be repatriated thgrough Aranyaprathet, in Sa Kaeo province.

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