THAILAND (TR) – Fifteen male Japanese nationals are suspected of operating a fraud ring in which victims in Japan were defrauded out of more than 200 million yen, police in the city of Pattaya said on Tuesday, reports TBS News (Apr. 2).
According to police, the suspects, aged between 22 to 54, had occupied a high-end residence in the city for the past two months. During a search on March 29, officers seized 52 telephones and 19 computers.
Officers also found records that showed the ring accumulated 137 million yen between February 1 and 24. The following month, the figure was 89 million yen. The largest amount defrauded from a single victim was 14 million yen.
The matter emerged after the landlord of the building grew suspicious about the equipment being used by the suspects. Thus far, the suspects have been accused of working illegally.
Police believe the suspects used the equipment to swindle primarily elderly persons in Japan in money-transfer scams in which the victims were told they were liable for unpaid fees.
At a press conference on Tuesday, police showed a “fraud manual,” which was also confiscated from the residence, that contained information on how to carry out scams.
Police also revealed that three other Japanese nationals are sought in the case. Two of them are believed to be in hiding in Thailand. The third has likely returned to Japan.
Local police plan to extradite the 15 suspects to Japan.