Arrest of Money Laundering Suspect in Bangkok
A Taiwanese man, Kuo Che-min, suspected of laundering around 3 billion baht (approximately NT$2.7 billion) for phone scammers and online gambling gangs, was arrested in Bangkok on July 27th. He has been extradited to Taipei, where he was handed over to prosecutors on August 10th. The Thai Immigration Bureau police confirmed the news during a briefing on August 18th.
Origin of the Investigation
Taiwanese authorities initiated an investigation into Kuo’s organization last year, leading to the arrest of 23 people and the seizure of cash and real estate in multiple raids. The organization is accused of handling illegal transactions to launder foreign currencies.
Kuo fled to Singapore in October last year and had been traveling between Southeast Asian countries using Taiwanese and Cambodian passports, according to Chen Ming-chun, deputy commissioner of the Criminal Investigation Bureau in Taiwan.
Cooperation of Malaysian and Thai Authorities
Taiwanese investigators received information about Kuo’s whereabouts when Malaysian authorities flagged his Cambodian passport as he traveled between Malaysia and Thailand. Subsequently, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand alerted the local immigration police about the case.
Kuo is said to have established companies in several countries to launder money for phone scam gangs based in Cambodia and online gambling gangs operating in various countries across Asia and Europe.
The Arrest and Seized Items
The Immigration Bureau revealed that Kuo had entered Thailand using a Thailand Elite Visa. Police apprehended him at a luxury condominium in the Klong San district of Bangkok, according to Pol Lt Gen Pakphumpiat Sajjaphan, the bureau commissioner.
During the search of the condominium, investigators discovered numerous electronic devices believed to have been used in the commission of the alleged offenses.