Authorities in Thailand have arrested 24 Chinese nationals in connection with a BTC investment scam thought to be operating an industrial scale from the Bangkok capital, the Chiang Rai Times reported. The fraud was running from call centers in the country, with the Chinese nationals allegedly involved in phoning unsuspecting investors to convince them to invest in BTC.
Law enforcement agents busted the ring at a call center in Thailand, accused of operating an elaborate crypto fraud since March. According to local press, the scammers were enticing Chinese residents to trade BTC on the Huobi Global exchange, with the operation effectively stealing funds from its unsuspecting victims.
In a statement from Thailand’s Immigration Police, it was revealed that the Chinese nationals had rented a shared house in Bangkok, and had had their passports confiscated on arrival. It remains unclear why the passports were confiscated and who took them.
The fraud is striking in the levels of organization, and in particular the salaries and working hours laid down for the Chinese nationals effectively employed by an unknown individual or entity to run the fraud.
The translated statement suggests that the Chinese nationals were paid a salary to work in the call center, tasked with convincing people on the Chinese mainland to part with their cash: “The monthly salary is 5,000 yuan [$710.25]. There is accommodation […] with all meals, phone calls to deceive Chinese people. In order to conduct financial transactions in digital currency and to spin said digital currency on the website, starting from 09:00 hours to 22:00 hours.”
Police seized a number of electronic devices in connection with the scam, including 61 notebooks, 424 smartphones and “3 internet devices.” Authorities are now working to establish the identity of Thai nationals who may have been involved in the fraud.
The scheme is only the latest crypto scam to be identified by authorities, with criminality and fraud around BTC rife globally.
Investigations into the identity of those behind the scam remain ongoing.
New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.