Police in Bangkok have arrested 6 Chinese nationals, charged with selling fake gold to Bangkok residents. It’s understood the men scammed residents in Bangkok’s Chinatown out of more than 10 million baht through the bogus sales.
According to Teeradet Thamsutee from the Royal Thai Police, the suspects targeted Thai-Chinese gold buyers in the Yaowarat area of the capital. The men are understood to belong to a triad known as Jiangxi Dragon. Following their arrest, officers confiscated nearly 200 pieces of gold, weighing a total of 30 kilos.
Coconuts reports that police were first notified by a Thai-Chinese man, who said he’d paid over 500,000 baht for the so-called gold. He says the sellers told him it had been dug up in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok. By the time the victim realised the gold he’d received was not real, he was no longer able to contact the sellers, who had disappeared. It was at this point that he contacted the police.
According to police, the suspects would use an official listing of Thai-Chinese residents in the capital and would contact them from a call centre in Indonesia. Once a meeting took place, the unsuspecting victim would be shown some real gold to dupe them into believing the transaction was legitimate.
All the men arrested are understood to be Chinese nationals, aged between 44 and 54. They have been charged with conspiracy to defraud and establishing a hideout. The first 2 suspects were arrested at Hua Lamphong train station, with the other 4 detained at a hotel in the Ratchada area.
According to the Coconuts report, arresting officers seized 179 pieces of fake gold, 8 smaller pieces of fake gold, 46 Chinese Association in Thailand directories, 24 ATM cards, and 12 mobile phones. All 6 suspects deny the charges against them and have pledged to fight them in court.
Meanwhile, Teeradet has pointed out that the Thai-Chinese directory could be a valuable tool for other Chinese criminals looking for targets. He says there has been a surge in violence, kidnappings, and murder, allegedly carried out by Chinese criminals based in the kingdom.
The police chief is urging people to use their discretion when meeting with people who could prove to be scammers, adding that he believes more suspects from this particular network remain at large.