Two language teachers were arrested yesterday, September 29, in Northeastern Thailand for allegedly being involved in an online face mask scam with a total worth more than 27 million baht.
Filipino Tanko Romo Jr., 27, was arrested in Maha Sarakham province while Cameroon national Asaka Mbah, 38, was caught in Khon Kaen province on the same day, Crime Suppression Division commander Jirapop Puridet told the press today, September 30.
The case investigation was conducted by the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) after receiving information from Interpol that a group of imposters who claimed to be the owners of a mask manufacturer called ‘TDR Trading’ had operated a fake website under other companies trademarks and names for impersonation scams.
They were accused of creating forged orders and shipping documents to convince victims. The fake business had reportedly attracted the purchasers to transfer more than 27 million baht to the scammers’ bank accounts.
During the investigation, the officials had managed to warn off a customer who was going to make a payment before they arrested a Thai female national who was allegedly chatting with the customer online and also a part of the fraud. She was not named by investigative officials.
The arrest of a first reported gang member then led to the issue of the arrest warrants and the capture of the two alleged foreign fraudsters yesterday, said the CSD commander.
The duo allegedly confessed that they were hired for 300,000 baht to open fake company bank accounts, withdraw income and transfer them to an international bank account. They would spend the money for personal use and would transfer some amount for their family in their home countries. The foreign duo, however, claimed to not know who they worked for or who hired them, nor how to get in contact with them.
Initially, the suspects were detained at the police division and were charged for colluding for public fraud, identity theft, and putting false information into a computer system.