All 16 suspects were arrested at a house in the Baan Maneekram housing estate on Kwang Rd, Moo 1, Chalong, at 10:45am.
Present in Phuket today to announce the arrests was Immigration Bureau Chief Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn.
“We were informed of the operation, and officers surrounded the house before moving in to make the arrests,” Maj Gen Surachate said.
“They tried to escape, but police caught them all,” he added.
At the scene, officers seized 18 computers, 68 mobile phones and about 100 SIM cards.
“There was lot of notes with phone numbers and a lot of notes about stock prices,” Gen Surachate said.
Officers had confirmed through the internet connection account that the operation may have started as early as March 18, he said.
A senior -ranking officer with the Phuket Provincial Police told The Phuket News, “All 16 suspects are Chinese nationals. Police at this stage decline to reveal their names. The suspects have so far declined to give any statement to police.”
Gen Surachate explained to the press today, “By our investigation, they (the suspects) arrived via Phuket International Airport in the middle of March, but at different times.
“They rented the house for B45,000 per month, and their elcetirc bill was about B20,000 a month,” he said.
It was a busy house, Gen Curachate noted.
“People reported seeing Chinese men always coming and going in and out with foodstuffs,” he said.
“This group of international criminals chose to do this here because it is convenient place to live and has a good internet connection to cheat same people of the same nationality,’ Gen Surachate said.
However, Gen Surachate said that police had yet to formally charge any of the suspects.
“We need to investigate other details that may be connected to other similar cases,” Gen Surachate explained.