Woman lured into opening bank accounts, now suspect in fraud cases
published : 24 Jan 2022 at 17:29
writer: Surachai Piragsa
BURI RAM: A 23-year-old woman named a co-suspect in six fraud cases totalling 3 million baht says she was conned into opening bank accounts for the swindlers, believing she was getting a job at a casino in Poipet.
Urairat Thap-udom told reporters on Monday she was at her wit's end, she had nothing to do with the fraud and did not know what to do next, and it was stressing her out.
She had worked at a casino in the Cambodian border town of Poipet, opposite Aranyaprathet in Sa Kaeo province, for three years from 2018 to 2020. She then had to return to Thailand, having lost her job with the arrival of Covid-19, and had stayed with friend in Aranyaprathet district.
In August last year, Ms Urairat said, she came across a post on Facebook inviting expressions of interest from people willing to work at a casino in Poipet, with contact details.
She spoke with a man by telephone. The man said he would help put her to work in the casino without her having to pay a brokerage fee, which was usually 7,500 baht.
The only thing she had to do in return was open two bank accounts for his company to use for an online business.
On Aug 25, 2021, she opened two bank accounts in Aranyaprathet, one with Siam Commercial Bank and the other Kasikorn Bank. The man took the account passbooks and a copy of her ID card to a gold shop in Aranyaprathet. There, a woman aged 30-35 took the documents and told her to wait, saying she would be contacted when the date for her to be taken across the border to Poipet had been set.
Ms Urairat said she waited, and waited, but received no phone call.
On Sept 30, she was shocked to receive a police summons sent to her home in Khaen Dong district, Buri Ram. The summons was from Muang district police in Nakhon Nayok province, telling her to report to police as she had been named a co-suspect in a fraud case.
She then received five more summonses - from Bung Kum police station in Bangkok, Huay Mek police station in Kalasin, Phrom Phiram police station in Phitsanulok, Phuphing Ratchaniwet police station in Chiang Mai, and another one from Muang police station in Nakhon Nayok.
According to the summonses, she was a co-suspect in cases involving online lending scams. Total damages were about 3 million baht.
Ms Urairat said she had filed a complaint seeking help at the Interior Ministry's Damrongtham Centre in Khaen Dong district, but heard nothing since.
She was worried and under stress, not knowing what to do next to disentangle herself from the charges. She was so desperate she sometimes even though about suicide, she said.