Investors make DSI complaint against 'forex fraudster'

Investors make DSI complaint against 'forex fraudster'

Complainants share their stories with reporters at the Department of Special Investigation in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo supplied)
Complainants share their stories with reporters at the Department of Special Investigation in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo supplied)

More than 20 people have complained to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) they were cheated out of millions of baht by a bogus foreign exchange investment scheme that promised high returns.

Businesswoman Issaree Hemsirirat and at least 20 other people filed a formal complaint with the DSI on Monday, alleging they had been scammed by a woman called Thanida Prompichai, who claimed to be an experienced stock trader.

Ms Issaree said the woman invited her to invest in a forex business with a promise of handsome returns, including a 1.24% daily dividend and two free overseas trips a year. 

Convinced, she invested 5 million baht in the business last month. However, no dividends have been paid. 

Ms Issaree said she later learned that Ms Thanida had allegedly been involved in a number of fraud cases in 2016 and had been arrested for issuing dud cheques.

She also learned that after transferring money to the business, the woman was remanded in police custody, presumably for the cheque offence. 

Ms Issaree said she and the other damaged parties decided to take their complaints to the DSI. 

Ms Thanida had allegedly posed as a high-flying stock trader who lived in the lap of luxury. 

Another complainant, Nawat Rojathanya-angkoon, said he invested 1 million baht and his friends and relatives a combined 1 million baht in the scheme. He knew Ms Thanida from people in share-trading circles. 

Meanwhile, the DSI has also received complaint from a group of air force officers, police and airline staff who are seeking legal action against a pyramid scheme operator who duped them into investing in a beer and spirits export company.

About 40 military and police officers and staff of Thai Airways International told the DSI they had lost their investments, ranging from 200,000 baht to 10 million baht per person.

The loss amounts to more than 100 million baht in total, according to the DSI.

One victim, who declined to be identified, said they had attended an aeronautical engineering course in 2017. During the course, a guest speaker, identified as Kan Rerkyai with an office based in Ubon Ratchathani, asked them to invest in the export of beers and spirits.

They were promised a dividend of 4% of their investment to be paid monthly, plus overseas holiday trips. 

The man said he invested 200,000 baht, which he borrowed from the air force cooperative, in the scheme. He received two dividends worth 16,000 baht in total before the payments stopped. 

The scheme operator said the business suffered a liquidity crunch after money had to be spent on the purchase of inventory.  

The victims had complained to the Crime Suppression Division and the Anti-Money Laundering Office earlier, but the investigation made no headway. They then decided to seek help from the DSI.

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