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Cyber Crime Bust: Sombat’s 200 Million Baht Call Center Scam Unveiled in Pathum Thani

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In the heart of the bustling Nong Chok district, Pathum Thani province, a significant arrest was made, sending shockwaves across the region. On Wednesday, police apprehended a 31-year-old man named Sombat, whose full name remains cloaked in secrecy. The dramatic arrest unfolded against the backdrop of an extensive investigation into a nefarious call center scam gang operating out of Poipet, Cambodia. The Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau had been hot on the trail, and their persistence paid off.

Sombat, the alleged mastermind behind multiple mule bank accounts, became a central figure in a convoluted scheme to defraud a wealthy Thai woman of an eye-watering 200 million baht. The details of his capture were meticulously outlined by Pol Lt Gen Worawat Watnakhonbancha, the commissioner of the CCIB. The operation was as strategic as it was swift, with officers swooping in to arrest Sombat in the Khlong Sibsong area.

Originally hailing from Pathum Thani, Sombat’s criminal activities had not gone unnoticed. An arrest warrant had been issued by the Nonthaburi provincial court on March 29, accusing him of collusion in public fraud, identity fraud, and inserting false data into computer systems. His apprehension marked a critical juncture in a case that began with a harrowing complaint from a woman in Kanchanaburi.

This woman, a former vending management expert at a university in the United States, found herself ensnared by a sophisticated scam. Claiming to be state officials, the scammers persuaded her that she was implicated in a money laundering investigation. Under this false pretense, they coerced her into transferring substantial sums of money—115 transactions in total, amounting to over 200 million baht—into fraudulent accounts.

The CCIB’s sleuths meticulously tracked the money trail, uncovering a network of 76 individuals who had opened mule bank accounts for the gang. Arrest warrants were subsequently issued for 69 suspects, Sombat included. To date, 40 individuals had been arrested, and the net was closing in ever tighter.

When interrogators finally caught up with Sombat, his story was one of deceit and desperation. He recounted applying for jobs on Facebook last year, lured by the promise of employment in Cambodia with a monthly salary ranging between 8,000-12,000 baht. A vehicle had whisked him away from Pathum Thani’s Lam Luk Ka district to Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district. From there, he was covertly ferried across the border into Poipet, Cambodia, through clandestine forest paths.

Upon arrival, a job broker escorted Sombat to a towering 25-storey building that served as the gang’s operational nerve center. It was within these walls that his work began in earnest. Sombat was provided with basic accommodations and tasked with opening mule bank accounts and having his face scanned for money transfers. He received 4,000 baht for each account he opened and an additional 1,000 baht for each face scan—work he continued for approximately six months before making a daring escape back to Thailand.

Now, Sombat finds himself in police custody, facing charges that could see him behind bars for quite some time. The complex web of deceit he helped weave has unraveled, revealing a tale of exploitation and greed. As the investigation continues, the CCIB remains steadfast in their determination to bring every last member of this call center gang to justice. The story serves as a stark reminder of the perils of cybercrime and the lengths to which law enforcement will go to ensure justice is served.


  1. Sam Thompson June 12, 2024

    Wow, I can’t believe someone could be tricked into transferring 200 million baht! How gullible do you have to be?

    • Joanna P. June 12, 2024

      It’s not about being gullible, these scammers are getting more sophisticated. They prey on people’s fears and use high-pressure tactics.

      • JohnDoe99 June 12, 2024

        Agreed. Anyone can fall for these scams, especially if they’re made to feel like their lives are in danger.

      • Sam Thompson June 12, 2024

        I get that, but it’s still hard to understand how someone could fall for it. 200 million is a huge amount!

    • Kathy B. June 12, 2024

      Never underestimate the power of manipulation. These scammers are professional con artists.

  2. Larry June 12, 2024

    The real issue here is how these scams operate from outside the country. Why isn’t more being done to shut down these networks at their source?

    • Helen84 June 12, 2024

      Shutting down international operations is easier said than done. Different jurisdictions have different laws and levels of cooperation.

      • Joe Hart June 12, 2024

        True, it’s a logistical nightmare and sometimes the local authorities are complicit.

      • Larry June 12, 2024

        That’s a dangerous rabbit hole to go down. If local authorities are in on it, we’re all doomed.

    • Sarah June June 12, 2024

      There needs to be more global coalitions to tackle this kind of crime. It’s becoming an epidemic.

      • Billy G. June 12, 2024

        Totally agree. International cooperation is key, but it’s such a bureaucratic process.

  3. grower134 June 12, 2024

    People getting paid 4,000 baht per account? That’s insane! I wish I could make money that easily.

    • Jenny Loo June 12, 2024

      Yeah, until you’re arrested and facing prison time. Not worth it, believe me.

      • grower134 June 12, 2024

        Fair point, but you can’t deny the temptation for some people.

      • James T. June 12, 2024

        People get desperate and desperate times call for desperate measures, even if it’s illegal.

    • Kayla R. June 12, 2024

      It’s sad that people feel they have no other choice but to turn to crime for money.

      • grower134 June 12, 2024

        Absolutely. The whole system needs a major overhaul to prevent this kind of exploitation.

  4. AvaTheHistorian June 12, 2024

    This Sombat guy is just a pawn in a much bigger game. The real masterminds are probably still out there.

    • Nate O. June 12, 2024

      Exactly. Catching him is a small victory. The kingpins are the ones pulling the strings.

    • Chris S. June 12, 2024

      Which is why the investigation can’t stop here. They need to trace it all the way to the top.

  5. Lee87 June 12, 2024

    This whole thing makes me want to be ultra-cautious about answering my phone. You never know who might be on the other end.

    • TechGirl42 June 12, 2024

      Caller ID spoofing is a huge problem too. You can’t even trust the number showing up.

  6. Vincent June 12, 2024

    Scams like this are why I always double-check any unsolicited calls or emails. Better safe than sorry.

  7. Natalie M. June 12, 2024

    This woman was so high up in her career, and yet, she got tricked. It’s really scary how anyone can fall victim to these scams.

  8. Max93 June 12, 2024

    It’s disappointing how these kinds of operations ruin lives. The government should do more to protect citizens!

    • PublicServant22 June 12, 2024

      Governments are often a step behind technology. It’s a constant game of catch-up.

    • Anne K. June 12, 2024

      There needs to be more public awareness campaigns to educate people about these dangers.

  9. Tina June 12, 2024

    Can you imagine working in a 25-storey building dedicated just to scamming people? It’s beyond comprehension.

    • Mike D. June 12, 2024

      Seriously, it’s like something out of a crime thriller. But it’s real life.

  10. Ellen C. June 12, 2024

    The saddest part is that these scammers often target the elderly or less tech-savvy people who don’t stand a chance.

  11. Rob W. June 12, 2024

    Blaming the victims isn’t the solution. We need to focus on dismantling these criminal networks and improving cybersecurity protocols.

  12. Zara H. June 12, 2024

    It’s wild that 76 people were involved in opening mule accounts. That’s almost an organization in itself.

  13. Fred M. June 12, 2024

    Let’s hope this arrest sets a precedent and discourages others from getting involved in such crimes.

    • Nancy B. June 12, 2024

      I doubt it. As long as there’s money to be made, people will take the risk.

  14. GreenThumbs01 June 12, 2024

    The level of sophistication in these scams is truly frightening. How do we even begin to combat that?

    • Ivan R. June 12, 2024

      Tech solutions can only go so far. It’s a mix of education, better tech, and law enforcement.

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