Ohm, the (un)friend(ly) Facebook thief

First, he was your Facebook friend with a sad story & rich parents, but when you turned around your purse was missing & all your valuables.


Chakhon Boonchoen (also known as Ohm), age 33, second right, looks at items which police say he has confessed to having stolen from about 100 victims (Photo: Apichart Jinakul).

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CRIME

Facebook page leads to accused con artist

21/08/2012 at 01:45
Post Reporters

A man suspected of conning more than 100 victims, most of whom were women he met online, has been arrested after one of the women opened a Facebook page to hunt him down.

After a month-long search, police yesterday arrested Chakhon Boonchoen, aka Ohm, 33. Police said Mr Chakhon used Facebook to befriend victims before eventually stealing their valuables.

According to many complaints, after getting acquainted with his victims, Mr Chakhon would persuade them to meet him in person.

The victims told police that the man would then look for a chance to steal their valuables, including cash and ATM cards. Some women said he had raped or otherwise sexually assaulted them.

The suspect denied the rape accusations, saying he had consensual sex with some of the women, police said.

"I admit that I've slept with about 15 of the women but I've never committed rape," police quoted Mr Chakhon as saying. "I have a wife and a child and they cost me 15,000 baht a month."

Police searched his apartment in Chatuchak district of Bangkok and said they found more than 100 items which he confessed to stealing recently.

Items seized by police included 20 mobile phone handsets, seven handbags, 33 purses, 33 ID cards, four bank passbooks and 65 ATM and credit cards.

Police said they were assisted in their search by information compiled online through a Facebook page which victim Ratinant Laoarak, 29, created to find the man.

Ms Ratinant said she was lured into believing Mr Chakhon was a suicidal man needing moral support, but he vanished with her handbag shortly after their first meeting. The Facebook page has more than 2,700 subscribers.

Mr Chakhon was yesterday arrested in a sting operation after he contacted Sumet Wiwatwicha, 48, a photographer with Praew magazine, on Saturday, saying he had obtained photos that Mr Sumet had lost recently.

Mr Sumet's car had been broken into on Aug 11 and a number of his valuables were stolen from the vehicle.

He told reporters he was hoping for the return of a file of photos of two well-known stars that he had shot for the magazine's next cover. Several local newspapers covered Mr Sumet's story the next day.

Police said Mr Chakhon told Mr Sumet that someone had pawned the stolen camera and laptop to him for 60,000 baht, and they could meet to discuss the return of the photos.

After speaking to Mr Chakhon on the phone, Mr Sumet lodged a complaint with police as he suspected that Mr Chakhon was probably a con man.

Police arranged a fake meeting between Mr Sumet and the caller, and discovered that he was Mr Chakhon, who was already wanted by police in five different cases ranging from theft to rape.

One of his victims, whose name was withheld, told police she met Mr Chakhon through a social media website.

"I was deceived when he posted a message saying he would commit suicide because he was heartbroken and had a congenital disease," police quoted her as saying. "I tried to comfort him and talked to him on the internet and telephone for about a week."

He then told me that he wanted to see me, to thank me for supporting him. He also told me that he was a son of a famous politician and his parents also wanted to see me.

"When I met him, he told me to take a facial scrub because his parents are well-respected people and he didn't want me to look bad. While I was taking a facial scrub [at a salon], he took my purse along with 1,000 baht in cash, an ATM card and a notebook computer," the victim said, according to police.

She said she was unable to contact Mr Chakhon after that day, but admitted he had an appealing personality, police said.

"Today, I see him arrested but I don't want to talk much. I just want to slap him," she told police.

(Source: Bangkok Post, CRIME, Facebook page leads to accused con artist, 21/08/2012, Post Reporters, link

 
Fraud Vocabulary

fraud - the crime of getting money from people by tricking and cheating them; through lieing and deception  การโกง, การหลอกลวง (See Wikipedia)
internet fraud - (See Wikipedia)

con game
- an attempt to trick and cheat a people out of money by first building trust and gaining their confidence (using human emotions and beaviours such as dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naivety and greed), also called a "confidence trick" and "fraud" (See Wikipedia)
con (verb)

con artist - a criminal who carries out a "con game"

accused - when people or the police say that someone is probably guilty of a crime (criminal trial is held to find out if this is true)
accused con artist


Facebook page leads to accused con artist

raped -
having sex with someone when they do not want it or without their permission, when they are asleep, for example when sleeping (See Wikipedia)
rape
- the crime of forcefully having sex with someone against their wish การข่มขืน
committed rape

had consensual sex - meaning: the two people agreed to have sex (so no rape)

sexually assault - includes any sexual act from one person without permission of the other such as sexual touching, kissing, child abuse (child molestation) and also rape (See Wikipedia)

confess - when the criminal says yes they committed a crime
confessed to have stolen

suspected - people believe that they might have done something wrong, but not yet proven; thought to be something เป็นที่สงสัย
victim - someone who has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
a man suspected of conning more than 100 victims

online
- connected to the internet
women he met online

hunt him down -
search for him and find him (like hunting for a wild animal in the jungle)
opened a Facebook page to hunt him down.

A man suspected of conning more than 100 victims, most of whom were women he met online, has been arrested after one of the women opened a Facebook page to hunt him down.

search - to look somewhere carefully in order to find something ค้นหา
a month-long search

valuables - objects that have high value that a person owns and carries with them, for example jewellery  สิ่งของมีค่า ของล้ำค่า
stealing their valuables

befriend - make friends with a person
befriend victims

eventually - at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
befriend victims before eventually stealing their valuables

After a month-long search, police yesterday arrested Chakhon Boonchoen, aka Ohm, 33. Police said Mr Chakhon used Facebook to befriend victims before eventually stealing their valuables.

complaints - when people say there is something wrong and they want it changed

getting acquainted with - getting to know someone; learning about them (and becoming better friends, becoming closer)
getting acquainted with his victims

persuade - to make someone agree to do something by giving them reasons why they should โน้มน้าวใจ เกลี้ยกล่อม
persuade them to meet him in person

According to many complaints, after getting acquainted with his victims, Mr Chakhon would persuade them to meet him in person.

look for a chance to - wait for the right time to do something; wait for an opportunity to do something
cash - money เงินสด

The victims told police that the man would then look for a chance to steal their valuables, including cash and ATM cards. Some women said he had raped or otherwise sexually assaulted them.

suspect - a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย

accusations - bad things that others say that you have done (but not yet proven)
denied - said it was not true
denied rape accusations

The suspect denied the rape accusations, saying he had consensual sex with some of the women, police said.

admit - to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it ยอมรับ
I admit that ...  

confessed - say yes something is true
confessed to stealing - say yes, he stole something

bank passbooks -
the little book that records how much money you have in the bank

"I admit that I've slept with about 15 of the women but I've never committed rape," police quoted Mr Chakhon as saying. "I have a wife and a child and they cost me 15,000 baht a month." Police searched his apartment in Chatuchak district of Bangkok and said they found more than 100 items which he confessed to stealing recently. Items seized by police included 20 mobile phone handsets, seven handbags, 33 purses, 33 ID cards, four bank passbooks and 65 ATM and credit cards.

assisted by - helped by
compile - bring together to one place useful information from many places
information compiled online

assisted in their search by information compiled online through a Facebook page

lure -
act to make a person want something or want to do something
lured into believing


moral
- about what is right and wrong, about how people should behave
support - help, by giving money, for example สนับสนุน

a suicidal man needing moral support

vanished
- disappeared, go away, no longer exists
meeting - when a group of people come together to discuss issues and make decisions การประชุม
he vanished with her handbag shortly after their first meeting

Police said they were assisted in their search by information compiled online through a Facebook page which victim Ratinant Laoarak, 29, created to find the man. Ms Ratinant said she was lured into believing Mr Chakhon was a suicidal man needing moral support, but he vanished with her handbag shortly after their first meeting. The Facebook page has more than 2,700 subscribers.

sting operation - a police operation to catch criminals (See Wikipedia)
arrested in a sting operation

vehicle - a machine that you travel in or on, especially one with an engine that travels on roads, e.g., a car, bus, van, truck, etc. ยานพาหนะ

Mr Chakhon was yesterday arrested in a sting operation after he contacted Sumet Wiwatwicha, 48, a photographer with Praew magazine, on Saturday, saying he had obtained photos that Mr Sumet had lost recently. Mr Sumet's car had been broken into on Aug 11 and a number of his valuables were stolen from the vehicle.

shoot photos - take photos of some person or thing
photos shot for the magazine's next cover

He told reporters he was hoping for the return of a file of photos of two well-known stars that he had shot for the magazine's next cover. Several local newspapers covered Mr Sumet's story the next day.

pawn - borrow money by giving something of value to a "pawnbroker" to keep until you pay the money back  จำนำ
pawned the stolen camera

Police said Mr Chakhon told Mr Sumet that someone had pawned the stolen camera and laptop to him for 60,000 baht, and they could meet to discuss the return of the photos.

complaint - when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory การร้องเรียน
lodged a complaint with police

After speaking to Mr Chakhon on the phone, Mr Sumet lodged a complaint with police as he suspected that Mr Chakhon was probably a con man.

fake - not the real thing or genuine ปลอม made to look like something real in order to trick people ที่ทำปลอม  ปลอมแปลง
fake meeting
arranged a fake meeting

theft
- (the act of) dishonestly taking something which belongs to someone else and keeping it การลักขโมย

Police arranged a fake meeting between Mr Sumet and the caller, and discovered that he was Mr Chakhon, who was already wanted by police in five different cases ranging from theft to rape.

withheld - to not give people something
name was withheld - the name of the person was not given out (to the public)

media - radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group สื่อ
social media
website - websites like Facebook or online dating websites

One of his victims, whose name was withheld, told police she met Mr Chakhon through a social media website.

deceived
- lied to, led to believe something that was not true Despite state authorities constantly warning of
commit suicide - kill himself
heartbroken - has a broken heart (from failed romance)

congenital disease - a disease you are born with (caused by a problem during development in mother's womb) โรคประจำตัว โรคแต่กำเนิด โรคที่มีติดตัวอยู่เป็นประจำ รักษาไม่หายขาด

comfort him - make him feel good when he is sad

"I was deceived when he posted a message saying he would commit suicide because he was heartbroken and had a congenital disease," police quoted her as saying. "I tried to comfort him and talked to him on the internet and telephone for about a week." He then told me that he wanted to see me, to thank me for supporting him. He also told me that he was a son of a famous politician and his parents also wanted to see me.

facial scrub - used to remove dead skin from the face (exfoliate skin) and make it look fresher (See Wikipedia)

respected
- admired by many people for your qualities or achievements ที่เคารพ
well-respected people  

"When I met him, he told me to take a facial scrub because his parents are well-respected people and he didn't want me to look bad. While I was taking a facial scrub [at a salon], he took my purse along with 1,000 baht in cash, an ATM card and a notebook computer," the victim said, according to police.

contact - having communication with someone ติดต่อ สัมผัส
contact Mr. Chakorn

personality - the part of a person that makes them behave in a particular way in social situations, e.g., in friendly or unfriendly way, or in a confident or shy way บุคลิกลักษณะ ลักษณะเฉพาะตน
an appealing personality - a person that is easy to like

She said she was unable to contact Mr Chakhon after that day, but admitted he had an appealing personality, police said.

slap - a quick hit with the flat part of the hand ตบ 

"Today, I see him arrested but I don't want to talk much. I just want to slap him," she told police.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer