A 19-year-old Malaysian man became the latest suspect arrested by Thai police as the kingdom's authorities step up their investigation into a 'Macau Scam' syndicate headed by a Taiwanese gangster.
Yesterday's arrest followed Friday night’s raid on a condominium where Thai police rescued a Malaysian woman and arrested five of her compatriots, as well as a 29-year-old Taiwanese man, who the authorities suspect to be the syndicate's ringleader.
"The 19 year-old from Malacca admitted it was he who rented the condominium for 87,000 baht per month (about RM10,800), but denied all other allegations (of involvement with the 'Macau Scam' syndicate or beatings suffered by the woman)," a Thai police source involved with the investigation told Bernama today.
According to the source, the Malaysian man, who has a Thai mother and can converse in the Thai language, was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport yesterday upon his arrival from Malaysia and immediately taken to a police station for further questioning.
In the raid on the condominium located in Bangna area in the outskirts of Bangkok, Thai police rescued the Malaysian woman who suffered several injuries on her arms and legs due to constant beatings she received from a syndicate member.
The raid followed information relayed by the Malaysian Embassy in Bangkok.
Police said the rescued Malaysian woman was beaten up with an iron rod, as a form of punishment for refusing to follow the syndicate's instructions.
The Taiwanese man, according to the police source, admitted to beating up the Malaysian woman, but denied the allegation that he operated a 'Macau Scam' in the condominium and had been refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
The source said the injured woman, who was kept in the condominium against her will, had been taken to a nearby hospital for treatment for the injuries she suffered and as a result, her condition has improved.
He said the initial investigation also found that the five other Malaysian suspects arrested in the raid had been travelling to Thailand several times before this and would be seeking more information from the Immigration police on the matter.
"The police want to know how long has the syndicate been operating in Thailand," said the source, adding that as of now, the five Malaysians would be the key witnesses in their investigation on the 'Macau Scam' syndicate.