Bangkok police bust alleged Japanese call centre gang after ‘victim’ escapes

The gang comprising five Japanese men were arrested at a residence in Bangkok's Bang Khen district and charged with imprisoning a fellow Japanese national.

The Nation

The Nation



December 13, 2022

BANGKOK – Kannayao police and Japanese Embassy officials raided the address and detained Kawabata Kotaro, Hirota Junya, Naramura Kenji, Tomonari Satoshi and Suzuki Takafumi.

Officials also seized a laptop, printer, tablet, four smartphones and lists of alleged Japanese victims as evidence.

Kannayao police chief Colonel Naren Kruengsanook said the arrests came after a Japanese man managed to escape from the gang and alert his embassy.

“The victim – identified as Yuki Ogura – escaped from the call centre gang’s residence after they deceived him into luring other Japanese nationals to Thailand,” Naren said.

The alleged victim said he travelled to Thailand on December 8 after the call centre gang had offered him a job in Bangkok.

However, the gang kept him at its residence and banned him from using any communication devices, he said.

“The gang then threatened me unless I started working to lure other Japanese [to Thailand],” Ogura said.

He added that he contacted the Japanese Embassy immediately after escaping from the gang on Saturday.

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