According to local police, the scammers were arrested in Chon Buri, Rayong, Roi Et and Surat Thani on March 21, adding that all five of the Indian suspects were men and 11 of the 15 Thais detained were women.
The police also seized 162 bank account books, 61 mobile phones, two cars, one pistol, land title deeds and other assets.
The investigation dates back to last year, when US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Secret Service agents informed Thai police that Indian cyber criminals and Thai nationals had set up a phone scam network to trick elderly people in US into transferring money to them.
The fraudsters, pretending to be US law-enforcement officials, preyed on the fear of their victims by telling them that they were being investigated for alleged money laundering . The callers then demanded that they transfer money into their "mule" accounts if they wanted to have the cases settled without further litigation.
In some cases the victims were sent links containing viruses, which allowed the scammers to take control of their devices.
General Torsak Sukwimol, Deputy National Police Chief of Thailand, said that 72,000 phone scam cases were reported between 2020 and 2021 with damage exceeding 3 billion USD. The US requested help from Thailand with 365 cases.
According to the investigation, the gang used Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong (China), the United Arab Emirates, Peru and Poland as bases to receive money transfers from victims.
Further investigation is underway to arrest more relevant suspects./.
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