21 duped out of B36,000 for 'fake' vaccines

21 duped out of B36,000 for 'fake' vaccines

A woman has filed a complaint with police against a man she claims duped her and others into buying a non-existent Sinopharm vaccine in Udon Thani.

The woman, identified only as Perm, lodged a complaint at Muang district police station yesterday.

She told investigators she and 21 friends had been lured by Weerasak Suksamdaeng to buy the Sinopharm vaccine. Ms Perm said she had learned from a friend that Mr Weerasak had secured some "leftover" quota of Sinopharm from the Federation of Thai Industries which bought the vaccine from the Chulabhorn Royal Academy.

Mr Weerasak said the man was charging 1,800 baht per dose. She and others transferred a combined 36,000 baht to Mr Weerasak through some friends.

After that, Ms Perm said she and other people who bought the vaccine were invited to a group chat line called Sinopharm Vaccine which was managed by a doctor called Sithichoke.

The chat line was linked to the website of the CRA to make it look reputable. It also provided vaccination guidelines and was hooked up with another group chat line called "Alternative IT for Hospital" which purports to have more than 1,300 members.

Ms Perm said she began to suspect fraud when jabbing appointments kept being postponed. The people who booked the vaccination in Bangkok on June 26 were told they would get the shots two days later. "Dr Sithichoke" said in the group chat line the jabs were deferred because of technical glitches.

On June 28, some of her friends went for the inoculation in Bangkok according to their appointment.

However, they were turned away after finding out they were not among the people scheduled for vaccination that day.

The hospital where he claimed to have worked insisted no doctor by that name was employed there. Dr Sithichoke then left the group chat line.

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