Police Raid Bogus Companies Processing Visa Applications

Police Raid Bogus Companies Processing Visa Applications

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Police raided eight businesses in this southern island province on Wednesday and Thursday, suspecting a Russian of money laundering and other Thais of putting up fictitious organizations to help foreigners apply for visas and work permits.

Pol Maj Gen Montree Theskhan, commander of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), stated that the raids were conducted in reaction to officials discovering suspected financial activities involving a Russian individual.

Prior to this revelation, a scammer acting as a provincial power authority duped a victim into installing application software that transferred 500,000 baht from the victim’s bank account to a Russian account. The funds were then removed from the Phuket-registered account.

The suspect also got cryptocurrency from non-custodial wallets, according to the CSD commander. After selling the cryptocurrency, the revenues were sent to his Thai bank accounts, from which the cash was immediately withdrawn.

Detectives discovered that the Russian withdrew a total of 186 million baht from three bank accounts and different automatic teller machines (ATMs) between July 7 and November 19, last year.

According to Pol Maj Gen Montree, the amount of money withdrawn was abnormally high, and the transactions could be evidence of money laundering.

The Russian man had previously produced a document identifying himself as an employee of a Phuket-based company.

According to Pol Col Phatrawut Onchuai, chief of the Crime Suppression Sub-division 5, the company is not operating and appears to have been set up to generate counterfeit documents to support foreigners’ work permits and visa applications.

The company’s directors and stockholders included two Thai women and one Russian woman. The ladies also held positions as shareholders and directors in 37 other companies.

Investigators accused them of assisting foreigners in illicit operations, leading raids on eight locations related with the suspected companies, according to Pol Col Phatrawut.

During the raids, officers discovered primarily empty rooms. The two Thai ladies also admitted to starting fictitious companies to help international visa and work permit applicants. Pol Col Phatrawut stated that they were also involved in the processing of these applications.

During the raid, police discovered stamps for almost 50 different companies.

Police Bust 70 Year-Old Man With 22Kg of Heroin

Police have detained a 70-year-old man after finding 22 kilograms of heroin concealed into sunscreen boxes at a mail delivery counter in Nong Khai. The drugs were apparently heading to South Korea via Bangkok.

Pol Lt Gen Sarayut Sanguanphokhai, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 4, believes Somphong Lothisen is a member of an international narcotics trafficking group.

Investigators had previously detained other members of the gang and seized illegal drugs bound for South Korea. They later discovered that more drugs were to be transported from Tha Bo, near the border with Laos in Nong Khai, to a gang member in Bangkok before being transferred outside.

Officers closely watched suspects’ movements in the northeastern province. When Mr Somphong arrived to a local Home Fresh store in Tha Bo, cops arrived and requested to inspect his package.

The search revealed 213 sunscreen boxes packed with heroin. Pol Lt Gen Sarayut claimed the heroin weighed a total of 22 kilograms.

The 70-year-old defendant was charged with illegal possession of heroin for sale. He was turned over to the Tha Bo police station for judicial proceedings.

During questioning, Mr Somphong told police that he was paid 4,000 baht by a person in Laos to deliver the box to a recipient in Bangkok.

Officers intend to continue their investigation in order to apprehend anyone implicated.

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