Friday, 23 June 2017

THAILAND: Travel Fraud Case Goes To Prosecutors,12 Arrested In Second ‘fake licence plates

Police passed the case against alleged fraudster Pasit “Sin Sae Shogun” Ariyalapit to public prosecutors on Friday, in relation to an alleged pyramid investment scheme and a travel junket debacle that left more than 1,000 would-be tourists stranded at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in April.

Police investigators interviewed 175 witnesses.

Pasit, founder and chief executive of food-supplement distributor WealthEver, and nine others are accused of leaving 757 people Bt51 million out of pocket.

Investigations into her network's dealings showed transactions involving Bt200 million between December 2016 and April.

Police have recommended prosecutors indict Pasit, eight other accomplices and WealthEver on charges of public fraud, racketeering, and violations of the Emergency Decree on Obtaining Loans Amounting to Public Cheating and Fraud, the Computer Act.

They also recommend Pasit and WeathEver should be indicted on additional charges of violating the Customs Act and the Food and Drug Act.

Meawhile, A police operation linked to fake car licence plates in which officers raided 19 locations nationwide this week led to the arrest of 12 suspects, Pol Maj-General Surachet Hakpan, the 191 patrol and special operation division chief, told a conference in Bangkok on Friday.

During the operation, dubbed Yutthakarn Prabpram Pump Paiplom II (second operation to suppress fake car licence plates), officers also seized 39 cars, 56 motorcycles, 12 guns, caches of ammunition, 13 car licence plates and 34 bank account books as evidence, he said.

The suspects were facing charges of racketeering, forgery, and having guns and ammunition in their possession without permission, he said.

The operation stemmed from a police investigation that found 19 locations linked to car and motorcycle theft crimes which saw the vehicles fitted with fake licence plates and sent for sale outside the country as well as gun dealing and illegal money lending, Surachet said.

Among the suspects, some reportedly used Facebook as a contact point for people to “pawn” their vehicles and guns to borrow cash, he said.

But when many customers wanted to get their cars back, they found that the vehicles had already been sent for sale in a neighbouring country or used in a crime.

Both operations had led to the arrest of 24 suspects, he said, adding that police were gathering evidence to detain more suspects.