A 19-year-old Malaysian and a 29-year-old Taiwanese face long prison terms and hefty fines upon conviction in court for confining and assaulting victims.
- 19-year-old suspected ringleader from Malacca detained
- 19-year-old female Malaysian victim rescued
- Victim confined and tortured by Taiwanese for failing to lure victims for call scam
- Four other Malaysians also arrested – could be deported and barred from Thailand
- Syndicate preyed only Malaysian and Chinese victims
A teenage Malaysian suspected to have headed a now-crippled ‘Macau Scam’ syndicate and notorious Taiwanese gangster Zhao Fei Long will be charged under Thailand’s harsh Trafficking-In-Person Act and Section 312 of Penal Code for confining and beating up their victims.
Victim Khu Wen Ching shows a large bruise on her thigh.
Four other Malaysians, four men and a woman suspected to be syndicate members are currently detained by the country’s immigration for questioning,” Tourist Police Bureau acting deputy chief, Maj Gen Surachet Hakpan told a media conference in Bangkok on Oct 28.
Maj Gen Surachet Hakpan with victim Khu Wen Ching.
“After questioning, the four Malaysians could be deported as well as blacklisted from entering the kingdom in future,” he said.
In an operation on Oct 27, following a complaint from the Malaysian embassy in Bangkok that a woman had been lured into working there and physically assaulted, the Thai police raided a condominium in the outskirts of the city.
They rescued 19-year-old Malaysian Khu Wen Ching who suffered repeated beatings from syndicate members.
Khu, who was confined in the condominium against her will, sustained injuries on her hands, legs and buttocks after being beaten with an iron rod, allegedly by Zhao. She was later taken to the hospital.
Taiwanese suspect Zhao Fei Long holds a steel pipe allegedly used to hit Khu while Surachet looks on.
Earlier, she had been recommended to work in Thailand as a customer-service operator for three months for RM5,500. She arrived on Aug 28 only to find that her job involved sending voice messages to people in Malaysia to falsely inform them that they had credit card debts.
Aware that it was a scam, she was unwilling to participate and Zhao allegedly hit her repeatedly on her arms, thighs and hip. She also claimed he had made shallow stab marks on the back of her hand with a knife and pointed it at her neck.
Khu points to a stab wound on her injured hand.
According to the police, Zhao had demanded Khu to pay RM300,000 if she wanted to cease working for the syndicate.
After the assaults were repeated on Oct 22 and 26, Khu sent a message to a relative in Malaysia for help.
During the raid, the authorities arrested five other Malaysians aged between 22 to 27. A man among the five turned out to be a victim of the syndicate.
The 19-year-old suspected ringleader from Malacca was detained at the Suvarnabhumi Airport on Saturday, upon arrival from Malaysia.
Authorities said Zhao, who entered Thailand in early August, confessed to the crime.
He told the police that his Malaysian employees in Thailand had to send voice messages via the Internet to people in Malaysia. When the victims called back, they would transfer the calls to accomplices in Malaysia to arrange for money transfers via ATMs.
Equipment used in the online call scam seized.
Surachet said the syndicate did not target Thais and only preyed on Malaysian and Chinese victims.
“When the syndicate received money from a victim through the scam, they transferred the money into Bitcoin currency,” he said.
Supt Ridzuan Abdul Aziz, attached to the Malaysian Embassy, who was present during the press conference praised the Thai police on their prompt action following a report lodged by the embassy.