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Police crackdown on Cambodian scam call centres frees 66 Thai nationals | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp

BANGKOK: A cross-border police operation this week rescued 66 Thai nationals from captivity in Cambodia where they were forced or tricked into working as scam callers, authorities said on Tuesday (Apr 12).

Thai and Cambodian police uncovered and broke up what they said was part of a wider Chinese-run transnational crime racket that has ensnared thousands of people from around Asia in recent years. The full scale of the racket remains unclear.

Since last October, more than 800 Thai men and women, including 300 who were considered victims of human trafficking, have been rescued from working at scam call centres, the Thai police said in a statement.

The workers are lured to Cambodia through social media advertisements promising high-paying jobs, but are then forced by racketeers to make scam calls in their own languages.

“Those who refuse get assaulted, some get whipped, others get electrocuted … Some get beaten up and others get locked in dark rooms and are not given food,” Thai assistant national police commissioner Surachate Hakparn told Reuters.

He added that more than 1,000 Thais are still working in scam call centres in cities like Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Poipet.

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