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Thai and Cambodian agree to cooperate on cracking down on scam call centers

Authorities in Thailand and Cambodia have busted a major scam call operation in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, making 61 arrests in the process.

Police General Damrongsak Kittiprapas, deputy commissioner-general of the Royal Thai Police and chief of Police Cyber Task Force (PCT), said 61 people were involved with the scheme and were arrested at two operation sites.

28 suspects were apprehended at the first call center, which operated from an abandoned factory. Evidence found at the site included mobile phones, walkie-talkies, notebook computers and conversation scripts.

The scammers made calls impersonating police officers or employees of logistics operators DHL and FedEx, tricking their victims into making money transfers. The scammers would get a 4% cut from these transactions, with each receiving 30,000-100,000 baht per month.

Another 33 suspects were arrested at a casino building and operated mainly on mobile dating applications such as Tinder, baiting users into making online investments and cryptocurrency trades. They are believed to have scammed their victims into co-investing in their e-commerce operations on the retail app Lazada, promising high returns.

The Royal Thai Police have so far seized some 47 million baht related to these fraudulent schemes.

Around some 4,600 complaints have been made through the police’s online case reporting center since its opening on March 1, with most of the cases being financial scams. The general public is encouraged to report any suspicious activities to the Police Cyber Task Force by calling 081-866 3000, contacting the Crime Investigation Bureau’s 1441 hotline.

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