Detained Ponzi suspect Mae Manee is pregnant

Detained Ponzi suspect Mae Manee is pregnant

Wantanee "Mae Manee" Tippaveth, 28, right, and her 20-year-old boyfriend Methee Chinnapha during their arrest at a rented house in Sattahip district of Chon Buri on Nov 2. (Police photo)

The prime suspect in a 1.6-billion-baht Ponzi scheme, Wantanee "Mae Manee" Tippaveth, is pregnant, the Corrections Department said on Friday as the number of victims filing complaints neared 5,000.

Department chief Pol Col Narat Svetanan said a pregnancy test had verified an earlier report that Ms Wantanee was two months into her term.

The suspect did not want to be taken to a hospital outside Udon Thani prison in Udon Thani province for re-examination. Corrections officials had standard procedures to take care of pregnant detainees, the director-general said.

"Many women are pregnant before being imprisoned. Some of them give birth during their imprisonment. Staff at prisons have standard procedures to take care of them," Pol Col Narat said.

Ms Wantanee, 28, and her 20-year-old boyfriend Methee Chinnapha, the two main suspects in the Mae Manee Ponzi case, were arrested at a house where they were hiding out in Sattahip district of Chon Buri on Nov 2.

They are accused of defrauding people who invested with them based on promises of unusually high returns of up to 93% a month.

Previously an online doll vendor, Ms Wantanee frequently posted photos of her lavish lifestyle and social events with celebrities to create an image of boundless wealth.

She even had a fake gold shop inside her residence in the northeastern province of Udon Thani, to convince people who followed her on social media that she owned a gold store.

The Department of Special Investigation has to date received complaints from 4,971 victims, who reported they lost 1.61 billion baht altogether to the Mae Manee scheme.

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