Police have arrested 16 people in raids on 15 locations for filing alleged false personal accident claims totalling 20 million baht, with insurers having already paid out 14 million baht.
The alleged scam involved claims on multiple policies for hospital treatment for wounds that were intentionally inflicted.
The arrests were in the southern provinces of Pattani and Songkhla on Monday, Pol Lt Gen Jiraphob Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, said on Tuesday.
The detained suspects were Tueanjai Thetngamthuan, 59, Tueanjit Thetngamthuan, 52, Suthee Khwaengsoon, 42, Siriporn Khwaengsoon, 41, Muhaimin Salae, 31, Sumolrat Likhitsripaibul, 51, Prapassorn Likhitsripaibul, 45, Thammarong Asaiboon, 41, Katanyu Chantharat, 38, Waraporn Prathumsuwan, 33, Techinee Phetnil, 60, Saendee Thepayos, 36, Nupin Patchaiyo, 51, Khiang Mitsaman, 57, Wanida Mitsaman, 56, and Sirithip Lengseesan, 24, he said.
According to Pol Lt Gen Jiraphob the operation followed complaints by insurance firms about a gang that hired people to act as personal accident victims.
The accomplices agreed to suffer intentionally inflicted injuries, which were then used to make personal accident claims. The accomplices were paid according to the degree of the injury.
An accomplice, for example, received 3,000 baht per night if admitted to hospital for treatment.
The gang had the accomplices open bank accounts and apply for ATM cards. The gang kept the account books and the ATM cards. Each accomplice then took out from 10 to 16 insurance policies.
A few months later the accomplices were given intentional injuries, such as burns on their legs from splashes of boiling spicy soup. Thirteen insured people claimed compensation for such burns. The gang received a large amount in insurance payouts.
False compensation claims totalled 20 million baht and insurance firms had already paid out 14 million baht, Pol Lt Gen Jiraphob said.
Pol Col Phongpanot Chukaew, a superintendent of the Crime Suppression Division, said police obtained Criminal Court warrants for the arrest of 18 suspects and to search 15 locations. Sixteen of the suspects were detained during the raids and another was arrested while being treated for Covid-19 at a hospital.
He said the gang was led by three women, who were among the arrestees - Ms Tueanjai, Ms Sumolrat and Ms Techinee. Two of the men, Mr Suthee and Mr Thammarong, were tasked with causing the injuries to the gang's willing policy holders.
Of the arrested suspects, only Mr Thammarong confessed, admitting he received 500-1,000 baht for each injury he inflicted, according to Pol Col Phongpanot.