11 July 2024

64 Thai nationals, who allegedly worked for Chinese-funded call centre scam operators in Cambodia, were deported back to Thailand yesterday (Wednesday) by Cambodian authorities.

The 39 men and 26 women were sent back over the border through the immigration checkpoint at Ban Khlong Luek, in the Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo province.

They were all arrested by Cambodian police in recent crackdowns on call centre scams, mostly involving online gambling, especially in Sihanoukville, where there is a high concentration of Chinese nationals.

Thai immigration officials said that the group will be screened, to separate those against whom arrest warrants have been issued.

Many of them were lured to work in Cambodia with promises of above average pay of between 20,000 and 30,000 baht per month.

One of the deportees said that he had worked as an administrator of an online gambling platform to convince people in Thailand to gamble, adding that he is yet to be paid after working there for about three months.

Thai authorities have repeatedly warned Thais to exercise extreme caution when accepting highly paid job offers in Cambodia. Nonetheless, people cannot resist the temptation of attractive financial returns while jobs are scarce at home.