The Criminal Court on Wednesday handed down jail terms of 1,446 years each to two executives of the famous Laemgate Seafood Restaurant on Phahonyothin road in Bangkok, for cheating the public.
In fact, the law limits the actual jail term to only 20 years each.
In a lawsuit filed by the prosecutors, Laemgate Infinite Co was named the first defendant, and two company executives - Apichart Bowornbancharak, alias Parun Julaka, and Prapassorn Bowornbancha - the second and third defendants.
The three defendants were accused of running an advertisement early last year on Facebook, on the website www.laemgate.net and on the Line account @laemgate offering tickets for different sets of seafood buffets at low prices. For example, one set of seafood called "Pro Rachathalay Buffet" was priced at 880 baht for 10 people - or only 88 baht per head. The others were priced differently, but all were unusually cheap.
People wanting to buy the tickets were required to post their orders online and transfer money to Kasikornbank account No. 0401759630.
Mouths watering, thousands of people did so.
On March 22, 2019, Laemgate Infinite posted an announcement on Line and Facebook cancelling the sales, saying it had insufficient raw materials to meet the large number of orders.
About 350 people who ordered the tickets and paid for the seafood filed complaints with police against the company and the two executives for fraud, claiming a total of 2,207,720 baht damages.
Mr Apichart and Ms Prapassorn were subsequently arrested under a warrant issued by the Criminal Court. They were indicted on charges of violating the Consumer Protection Act of 1979, the Computer Crime Act of 2007 and the Criminal Code.
The three defendants confessed to the charges.
The Criminal Court on Wednesday found them guilty on 723 counts and sentenced Mr Apichart and Ms Prapassorn to 1,446 years each in jail. Laemgate Infinite was given fines totalling 3,615,000 baht.
Because they confessed, Mr Apichart and Ms Prapassorn's jail terms were reduced by half to 723 years. However, Section 91 (2) of the Criminal Code limits the actual jail term to 20 years. The fine for Laemgate Infinite was reduced to 1,807,500 baht.
In addition, the court ordered the three defendants to refund 2,500,960.99 baht to the damaged parties.
The law allows the defendants to file an appeal within one month.