According to residents, the cessation of electricity and WIFI internet by Thailand in the Shwe Kokko area has led to the halt of certain casino gambling and online scam operations. As a result, workers engaged in these activities have returned home, resulting in a decrease in the number of tenants and a corresponding drop in room prices.
“Things are not as good as they used to be. Jobs are hard to come by. When three online businesses closed down, workers went back home. Rooms are empty and rent has dropped from 7 thousand baht to 3 thousand baht, but still, there are no takers. Even though there’s no reliable electricity, water and electricity bills keep going up every month,” shared a resident of Shwe Kokko with KIC.
In addition to the Chinese, a casino and two online scam businesses operated by foreigners have been forced to shut down, resulting in over 60 workers losing their jobs.
Moreover, according to undisclosed sources speaking to KIC, the Shwe Kokko area, under the jurisdiction of the Border Guard Force (BGF), is planning to engage in scams targeting people in Myanmar. It is suggested that this decision arises from the notion that citizens from various countries have become knowledgeable about money scams, prompting the area to target individuals within Myanmar.
“Numerous Chinese individuals returned to China. They expressed their intent to engage in fraudulent activities elsewhere.
However, their schemes have become widely recognized in China and other nations, making it difficult for them to carry out scams there. As a result, they are now targeting people in Myanmar for their fraudulent activities,” he explained.
Residents have reported a decrease in the number of tenants in the Shwe Kokko area, but they have observed a rise in the establishment of restaurants, KTVs, and bars, which are operating in collaboration with BGF troops and Chinese citizens.
Shwe Kokko city features Chinese-operated online scams, money scams, and casinos, employing both foreign workers and local residents primarily hailing from Laukkai, Muse, Taunggyi, Yangon, Mandalay, and Hpa-An. These workers predominantly consist of young men and women.