Hacked phone system at flood donation center sends donations to thieves' bank account. Huge CP Group donation goes missing, reveals all.
Cars parked on an overpass to avoid floodwaters (in the photo above) have become the target of thieves.
Click button to listen to Donation Fraud to download
Crimes: Donations siphoned off, The deluge is no deterrent to the callousness and creativity of criminals by Wassayos Ngamkham
Police are hunting a criminal gang which rigged the telephones of a flood donation centre and redirected money meant for flood victims to a private bank account.
The theft - involving an unknown amount of money - was uncovered after a private firm, Workpoint Entertainment Co, filed a complaint with the Crime Suppression Division.
Workpoint had discovered money promised to the centre had not been recorded in its bank accounts and suspected its phone lines had been tapped.
Workpoint is the producer of TV show Ratcharot Ma Koey ("good fortune befalls you") which is aired on Monday to Friday on Channel 9.
The company has been encouraging viewers to call the donation centre to offer aid to flood victims.
Just before the company filed the complaint with the CSD, its executives had met Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group which pledged a large sum of money through the TV show.
However, the donation did not appear in the show's bank accounts.
The CSD swung into action and found the telephone system used by Workpoint Entertainment to receive donors' calls had been tapped.
Incoming calls were being automatically redirected to an unidentified person who then told the donors to transfer money to his own bank account.
Other donated items such as boats were also believed to have been stolen by the gang.
A CSD detective said it was thought the gang had at least three members and evidence was now being gathered to seek arrest warrants.
A police source said CSD commander Pol Maj Gen Supisarn Phakdeenaruenart had assigned Pol Col Piya Charoensuk, chief of the CSD's Sub-division 1 to lead the investigation.
The source said there were suspicions the gang may have tapped into other flood donation centres to siphon off money without their knowledge.
Meanwhile, thefts at heavily-flooded communities in Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani have become rampant.
Provincial Police Region 1 commander Khamronwit Thupkrachang said many break-ins had been reported in Bang Bua Thong district in Nonthaburi and Muang district in Pathum Thani.
In an effort to catch the thieves in these areas, police have set up a security checkpoint in Bang Bua Thong district and one in Future Park department store in Pathum Thani.
Police from several stations have been formed into a patrol to protect the flooded areas at night, when the thieves usually sneak into abandoned houses to loot them of their wares.
It appears nothing has deterred the thieves. Some simply swim into flooded houses and grab whatever they can and flee. Others are more methodical, scouting in boats during the day for abandoned houses, noting them and returning at night to steal everything they can carry.
These thieves usually pose as fishermen, so police on patrol have been instructed to take pictures and the names of everyone they find roaming the swamped areas at night," Pol Maj Gen Khamronwit said
Householders who want to visit their homes should do so during the day, to avoid being taken for thieves, he said.
City police teams have also begun regularly patrolling bridges and expressways where many cars have been parked.
This follows a rise in complaints that valuables have been stolen from the vehicles. Recently, a gang of eight was arrested and charged with stealing valuables from cars parked in those areas.
Contact Crime Track: email@example.com.
(Source: Bangkok Post, Crimes, Donations siphoned off, The deluge is no deterrent to the callousness and creativity of criminals, 7/11/2011, Wassayos Ngamkham, link)
Law Enforcement Vocabulary
fraud - the crime of lieing to and cheating people to get their money ("intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual") (See Wikipedia)
burglary - entering a building or home by force to steal something or for some other crime, breaking and entering (See Wikipedia)
overpass - a bridge, road, railway or similar structure that crosses over another road or railway (See Wikipedia)
deter (verb) - taking action to stop or prevent people from doing something (example: Strangely, even the penalty of death does not deter some people from selling drugs.)
nothing has deterred the thieves
deluge - a flood, a large amount of something entering a place (example: In a virtual flood of phone calls, there was a deluge of requests for the radio station to play the song.)
callous (adjective) - cruel, showing no concern for other people and their feelings in one's actions
the deluge is no deterrent to the callousness and creativity of criminals
donation (noun) - money or goods that you give to an organisation, especially one that helps people เงินหรือสิ่งของบริจาค
flood donation centre
call the donation centre to offer aid to flood victims.
the donation did not appear in the show's bank accounts
pledge - donate; seriously promised to do something สาบาน
sum - an amount of something, especially money จำนวนเงิน
pledged a large sum of money through the TV show
siphon off - to take money or resources away from a place (where they are supposed to be)
donations - money given by people to help some project or organisation financially
donations siphoned off
rigged the telephones - changed the phone electronics (to make the phone do what they wanted it to do)
redirect - go in another direction (not the planned direction)
redirected the money to a private bank account - the money went into another person's bank account (instead of the official bank account for donations)
victims - people who are killed injured or harmed in some way from an accident, natural disaster, crime, etc.
rigged the telephones of a flood donation centre and redirected money meant for flood victims to a private bank account
theft - (the act of) dishonestly taking something which belongs to someone else and keeping it การลักขโมย
firm - a business or company บริษัม
filed - to take official action, e.g., to make a formal complaint ยื่นฟ้องร้อง
complaint - when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory การร้องเรียน
filed a complaint with the Crime Suppression Division.
tap a phone - put an electrical device on a phone so that you can secretly listen to people talking on the phone
suspected - people believe that they might have done something wrong, but not yet proven เป็นที่สงสัย
suspected its phone lines had been tapped
the telephone system used by Workpoint Entertainment to receive donors' calls had been tapped
producer - a person who makes the practical and financial arrangements needed to make a film, play, television or radio programme ผู้อำนวยการสร้างภาพยนต์, ผู้ผลิต
producer of TV show
fortune - luck โชค
good fortune befalls you - you have good luck
air a TV program - show the program on TV at a certain time
aired on Monday to Friday on Channel 9.
swing into action - to act or react quickly (when something happens that requires quick action, like a natural disaster or medical emergency)
the CSD swung into action
unidentified - not knowing who someone is
unidentified person -
transfer - to official arrange for someone else to be the owner of something โอน
transfer money - move money from your bank account to another person's bank account
Incoming calls were being automatically redirected to an unidentified person who then told the donors to transfer money to his own bank account
aid - help or assistance given to someone ความช่วยเหลือ (financial aid, money: เงินช่วยเหลือ
executives - a high level manager in a company (making plans and ensuring they executed successfully) ผู้บริหาร
evidence - facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime หลักฐาน
evidence was now being gathered to seek arrest warrants.
source - someone who gives the media information แหล่งข่าว
a police source said ...
commander - a police offer of high rank ผู้บังคับบัญชา
division - one part of a large organisation
investigation (noun) - try to find out what happened during an event, discover the truth (the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened) การสอบสวน การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง
lead the investigation
there were suspicions the gang may have tapped into other flood donation centres to siphon off money without their knowledge.
thief (noun, singular) - a person who steals things from other people นักขโมย
thieves (noun, plural) - more than one "thief"
theft (noun) - the act of stealing things การขโมย
rampant - very common and increasing uncontrollably รุกลาม อาละวาด กำเริบ รุนแรงจนควบคุมไว้ไม่ได้
have become rampant - now very common (was not common in the past)
break-in - a burglary, when a thief enters a home or building by force and steals things inside (See Wikipedia)
effort - the energy and enthusiasm that people put into an activity; an attempt to do something ความพยายาม
security - 1. the activity of making safe or protecting from harm, 2. the measures and actions taken to protect a place (and make sure that people who enter have permission to enter)
checkpoint - a place where people are stopped and questioned and vehicles are examined, especially at a border between two countries ด่านตรวจ
security checkpoint - a place on the road where people are stopped and checked, in order to make a place safe
in an effort to catch the thieves in these areas, police have set up a security checkpoint
patrol - when police or soldiers move around an area to make sure there is no trouble (or crime or enemies) in an area ลาดตระเวน ตรวจการ
sneak - do something quietly and secretly (so that people do not see you do it)
abandoned - left alone by someone and no longer used ที่ถูกละทิ้ง ถูกปล่อยทิ้งไว้
abandoned houses - houses without people (that people have moved out of in the past)
sneak into abandoned houses -
loot - steal
wares - things
loot them of their wares - steal things that they own
a patrol to protect the flooded areas at night, when the thieves usually sneak into abandoned houses to loot them of their wares.
grab - take quickly (with your hands)
grab whatever they can
flee - to leave a dangerous or unpleasant situation quickly; to escape หนี อพยพ
some simply swim into flooded houses and grab whatever they can and flee
Others are more methodical, scouting in boats during the day for abandoned houses, noting them and returning at night to steal everything they can carry.
pose as - pretend to be someone you are not, make yourself look the same as something that you are not (example: The thieves posed as policemen with a couple of police uniforms that they bought)
pose as fishermen - pretend they are fishermen (but they are not fishermen)
roam - wander, walk or move around a place (without any real purpose or goal, aimlessly)
swamped areas - areas with a lot of water
roaming the swamped areas at night
taken for a thief - people think that you are a thief when they see you or meet you
avoid being taken for thieves - prevent people from thinking they are thieves
complaints - when people say there is something wrong and they want it changed
valuables - small possessions that are worth a lot of money, for example jewellery ของล้ำค่า สิ่งของมีค่า
vehicles - machines with an engine used to carry people or goods from place to place ยานพาหนะ
a rise in complaints that valuables have been stolen from the vehicles
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