Thai authorities have reported an incident in which a man, Sanit Dokmai, allegedly murdered his wife and their two sons, aged 9 and 13, due to overwhelming debt, before attempting suicide. The incident took place in Samut Prakan province, near Bangkok.
Local police chief, Rangsan Kamsook, disclosed that Sanit was the guarantor for a friend’s 400,000 baht ($11,400) loan. After the friend disappeared, leaving Sanit with the debt, his wife attempted to secure a loan online but fell victim to a scam, losing over 1.7 million baht ($48,000).
The subsequent investigation resulted in the issuance of arrest warrants, related to fraud and violations of the Computer Crime Act, for nine Thais and two Cambodians.
This tragic case highlights Thailand’s growing cybercrime and scam issue. In 2022, Thai police registered over 200,000 online scam reports, amounting to losses of roughly 30 billion baht ($855 million).
The United Nations recently indicated that Southeast Asia, especially nations like Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, and Thailand, is grappling with rampant online scam operations, with criminal gangs coercing large numbers into these illegal endeavors.
In response, Thailand implemented a law allowing banks to freeze suspicious accounts for up to 72 hours without an official police report. The move seeks to address the challenge of tracking and recovering funds rapidly moved across multiple accounts post-scam.
Moreover, the country’s Digital Economy and Society Minister criticized Facebook last month, suggesting potential shutdowns if the platform doesn’t effectively filter scam-related advertisements.