Bureau nets wanted S Korean fraudster

Bureau nets wanted S Korean fraudster

Immigration has arrested a South Korean man wanted in connection with fraud charges relating to a pyramid scam which saw more than 5,000 victims cheated out of more than 10 billion baht.

The arrest was announced by Immigration Bureau (IB) chief, Pol Lt Gen Sompong Chingduang at a media briefing yesterday.

According to police, the 53-year-old man, identified as "Jae Song", was detained at an immigration checkpoint in Sa Kaeo province on Nov 27. The arrest was made after authorities received information from the South Korean embassy in Bangkok that Jae Song is wanted by Seoul for his role in a fraudulent scheme that offers payouts in digital currencies.

More than 5,000 people have come forward as victims, with losses estimated at US$468 million (about 10 billion baht), police said, before adding that Jae Song is wanted under multiple arrest warrants issued by South Korea as well as Interpol.

"He will be deported to South Korea," police said.

Separately, immigration police yesterday arrested three Thai and four Chinese suspects for their alleged involvement in the forgery of passports. They have also been charged with providing shelter for foreigners who entered the country illegally, in addition to falsifying official documents.

Previously, police apprehended and charged a 47-year-old Chinese man, only identified as "Lin", for using a fake passport.

Police said Mr Lin paid about 1.2 million baht to a group of Chinese brokers to make a passport for him.

The group then hired some Thais to look for personal information of missing Thai citizens to be used as evidence to arrange for an ID card and a passport to be issued under a false name.

Mr Lin used the passport to get through the immigration checkpoint in Songkhla's Sadao district. But immigration officers became suspicious when they found out he could not speak Thai.

Data from the biometric system showed that Mr Lin had previously used a Chinese passport in 2014 to enter Thailand, which led to others who were involved in the criminal forgery, police said.

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