In a significant breakthrough, Thai authorities have apprehended two Chinese suspects allegedly involved in an expansive international investment scam. The scam, which is estimated to have caused damages totaling as much as 10 billion baht worldwide, targeted unsuspecting victims across various countries. The arrests were made during a meticulously executed operation, dubbed “Trust No One,” which involved searches at 19 locations in Bangkok, with particular focus on luxury homes in the Prawet district.
Officials from multiple agencies collaborated to carry out the operation, which yielded fruitful results. During the searches of the luxury residences, valued between 35 to 60 million baht, the authorities arrested the two Chinese suspects on charges of defrauding the public and engaging in money laundering. Notably, the search also led to the seizure of 1.5 million baht in cash, housing estate property deeds worth 60 million baht, condo title deeds valued at 128 million baht, as well as luxury items including 14 Bearbrick figures, 6 iPhones, and a collection of iPads, Macbooks, and brand-name purses.
In addition to the luxury homes, the police also conducted inspections at 16 other sites within the housing estate, resulting in the seizure of luxury cars, documents, property deeds, and additional cash.
The operation was initiated following reports from victims who fell prey to the scam. The victims alleged that the scammers had utilized fake social media profiles to establish connections with them. Subsequently, the scammers coerced the victims into investing in fictitious digital currencies or fraudulent assets trading platforms, commonly referred to as “hybrid scams.” Thai authorities estimate that Thai victims alone have suffered damages amounting to 35 million baht.
Thai officials have been actively coordinating with law enforcement agencies in the United States, including the FBI, Secret Service, and Department of Homeland Security, as well as authorities in the UK. This collaboration has revealed two cases in the US and one in the UK that are connected to the same network of scammers, resulting in damages totaling approximately 1 billion baht. It is believed that there are numerous additional victims, and the cumulative value of losses may exceed 10 billion baht.
The arrests and ongoing investigations demonstrate the commitment of Thai authorities to combatting international fraud and protecting innocent individuals from falling victim to such scams.