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BANGKOK, The Thai government greatly appreciated Malaysia's cooperation in combating transnational crime including call centre scams or better known as the "Macau Scam," said its deputy prime minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan today.

According to Prawit who is also the Defence Minister and minister responsible for internal affairs, Thai authorities had managed to arrest suspects involved with call centre scams through excellent cooperation with its Malaysian counterpart and other neighbouring countries.

I would like to thank the Malaysian government, for without (the) excellent cooperation we ( theThai authorities) would not be able to nab suspects involved with the call centre scams, he said during an appreciation ceremony to honour its cooperation with the Malaysian and Cambodian governments at the Royal Thai Police's headquarters today.

The deputy prime minister presented appreciation plaques to Malaysian ambassador to Thailand Jojie Samuel and Malaysian Police Liaison Officer in Thailand ACP Yusni Mohd Jamil in a ceremony also attended by Thailand National Police chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda.

Prawit said, excellent bilateral cooperation between Thailand and its neighbours played an integral part in its battle against transnational crime and hoped the good ties with neighbouring countries could be strengthened in the future.

Meanwhile, Jojie told Bernama that the event today was to honour the close cooperation existing between the government and the authorities of the two countries in combating cross-border crime especially involving fraudulent call centres.

"The event represents the success of the two nations as well as other countries in the region in efforts to curb cross-border crimes, he said, adding that cooperation between the two countries would be strengthened in future.

He said the authorities of both countries must also cooperate in boosting publicity among the community on fraudulent call centres so that they would be aware about the increasing crime in the region.

Yusni, meanwhile, said cooperation between the Royal Malaysia Police and their Thai counterpart in curbing cross-border crime had been established for so long and would be further strengthened in future.

In the ceremony, the head of Thai Police operation centre for the call centre Maj Gen Surachet Hakpan said, for a period of three months this year, the Thai Police had registered 338 cases involving call centre scams with financial losses amounting to 200 million Baht (RM26.4 million).

The Thai police, he said, had issued warrants of arrest against 343 suspects with 229 people already arrested.

Surachet also said, the police had reimbursed 33 million Baht (RM4.2 million) to 66 victims using the money they had seized from the call centre suspects and expected to reimburse another 120 million Baht to the victims.

Source: NAM News Network