148 Thais among 689 people held over online gambling, scams in Myanmar border town

BANGKOK: As many as 148 Thai nationals were arrested in Myanmar’s border town of Tachileik in a crackdown on scam call centres and online gambling businesses, Myanmar media reported on Saturday (Feb 24).

In a raid on Friday, Myanmar military and police raided an “online gambling business” located close to 1G1 Hotel and arrested 689 people found on the premises, the Tachileik News Agency said.

Those arrested included 148 Thais – 75 men and 73 women – as well as Chinese and Myanmar nationals, the report said.

Arresting officers also seized 400 computers, 270 smartphones, 10 cars and 170 motorbikes. The Thais arrested will reportedly be questioned and prosecuted if found to be involved in illegal activities while in Myanmar. They face up to six months in jail or a fine of 40,000 baht if found guilty.

After serving their sentence, the convicted Thais will be handed over to Thai authorities, the report added.

Tachileik lies opposite Mae Sai district in the northern province of Chiang Rai.

The report also said that most of the Myanmar nationals arrested are young people, including youth from the country’s eastern Shan State, which borders Thailand.

According to the news agency, the raid was carried out in cooperation with the Thai government as part of efforts to fight online scams and gambling targeting Thais.

The Tachileik authorities had reportedly responded to direct orders from the military junta in Naypyidaw.

Late last year, more than 500 Thais who had allegedly been working at scam centres in Laukkai or Laukkaing in Shan State were rescued and repatriated to Thailand amid fighting in Myanmar.

Thai authorities said they learned that 174 of the returnees had been victims of human trafficking, while the remainder would face legal action for being involved in illegal activities. - The Nation/ANN

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Thailand , Myanmar , scam , border , arrest


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