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Myanmar authorities apprehend more than 100 suspects in scam gang operation, reports Radio Free Asia

Reports from locals indicate that over 100 individuals were apprehended by Junta troops during a raid on a casino situated on the Thai-Myanmar border.

The establishment in question was a hub for online gambling activities in Tachileik city in Myanmar’s eastern Shan state.

The area encompassing northern Thailand, eastern Myanmar, and southern Laos is commonly referred to as the Golden Triangle, notorious for its gambling, trafficking, and fraudulent activities.

An anonymous resident revealed that the 1G1-7 Hotel in Tachileik’s San Sai Kha neighborhood, where the crackdown occurred, has been a prominent fixture in the city for years.

According to the resident, the casino hidden behind the 1G1-7 Hotel has been operating for approximately a decade, attracting the attention of authorities leading to the recent raid and arrests.

Local sources confirmed that individuals of Myanmar, Thai, and Chinese descent were among those detained by Junta soldiers and police. Details regarding their whereabouts and identities remain undisclosed.

Troops and police gather outside the 1G1-7 Hotel in Tachileik city on Feb. 23, 2024 (Telegram: People Media)

Another resident of Tachileik revealed the prevalence of numerous online gambling establishments across the city’s 11 neighborhoods and surrounding villages, many of which operate out of homes and hotels.

Instances of online money scamming gangs disguising their operations as casinos have been reported by locals. Previous crackdowns have resulted in the deportation of thousands of individuals engaged in illegal activities in the region.

Although the junta has not officially disclosed information regarding the recent arrests, reports from pro-military channels on Telegram suggest that the detained individuals were involved in online fraud activities as part of an organization known as “Kyar Pyant.”

State-owned newspapers have highlighted the repatriation of thousands of foreigners, predominantly Chinese nationals, who were found to have stayed illegally in Myanmar between October 5, 2023, and February 8, 2024.

An incident involving the rescue of South Korean nationals forced to work in illegal businesses in Tachileik was also reported in November.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.


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