4 held as cops close down investor scam
Victims lured via dodgy Line group
Police have raided a condominium in Samut Prakan and arrested four suspects allegedly running an investment scam.
The raid took place at a condo on Phraekkasa Road in tambon Thai Ban Mai of Muang district on Sunday. It was carried out by Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT) Unit 5 led by Pol Maj Gen Theeradet Thamsuthee, chief of investigation at the Metropolitan Police Bureau.
Police arrested a 31-year-old suspect, named only as Mr Supornpong, and three women -- one of whom was his girlfriend and alleged accomplice identified only as Ms Khaninut.
A source said Mr Supornpong was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by Suphan Buri Provincial Court for collusion in identity fraud.
Police confiscated three desktop computers, nine mobile phones, five bank passbook, and 38 SIM cards.
It is alleged the four cloned Facebook accounts with attractive displays to dupe victims into investing in a non-existent company called "E-SHIPING.SHOP".
Victims would be invited to a Line group, one at a time, while the rest of the members were fake, police said. Investment packages would be offered by a self-proclaimed investment expert called Golf.
After each victim became a new member in the Line chat, the group members would show their earnings, which were fake financial statements, to dupe the victim into thinking they were earning a lot after following Golf's instructions. When a victim transferred money, they would later be shown false earnings but would be unable to withdraw any money.
If they tried to, the gang would tell the victim that either the withdrawal process was incorrect or that they needed to invest more to make a withdrawal. Mr Supornpong told police that he used to work for a gambling website called UFABET168.net owned by a gang in Cambodia, where he met his girlfriend, Ms Khaninut.
Ms Khaninut said that the site was making about 100 million baht a month, so she and Mr Supornpong decided to set up their own operation in September instead of receiving a 3% commission from the Chinese gang.
She paid a Thai programmer in Cambodia to write a programme to make the scam look legitimate for 60,000 baht and jointly operated the scam with two other associates. Mr Supornpong and Ms Khaninut received 30% each of the profits, while the two partners each got 20%.