LAST_UPDATESun, 18 Mar 2018 3pm

Joint M'sia-Thai Operation Rescues 11 Thais From Macau Scam Syndicate

Photo courtesy of Thailand police.Photo courtesy of Thailand police.

BANGKOK -- Eleven Thai nationals believed to have been forced to work for a Taiwanese-led "Macau Scam" syndicate in Kuala Lumpur were rescued in a joint operation by the Malaysian and Thailand Police here today.

In the raid conducted by Malaysian Police following intelligence by Thai Police on a 10-storey building in Sri Petaling, five Taiwanese, including a man believed to be the mastermind of the transnational syndicate, were also nabbed.

“The rescued Thai nationals were believed to have been locked up and forced to work with the syndicate members, tricking victims in Thailand to transfer money into the syndicate's bank account,” said Tourist Police Bureau deputy head Maj Gen Surachet Hakpan in a statement issued here today. 

He said within two months of its operations, the syndicate had managed to cheat a total of 100 million Baht (RM12.8 million) from its victims. 

Surachet, who took part in today's operation, also said today's raid was part of an extended investigation into last week's operation in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, where they arrested a total of 26 Thais, six Taiwanese and five Cambodian suspects of a "Macau Scam" syndicate.

In today's raid, Malaysian and Thai Police found several telephones, internet routers, equipment for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), list of the victims, as well as names of high-ranking Thai officials the syndicate had used to cheat the victims.

Surachet said the authorities also discovered a transcript to guide syndicate members when talking with the victims. 

According to Surachet, Thai nationals rescued in today's operations would be brought back to Thailand after the Malaysian Police completed their legal procedures.