An ex-lawyer has been arrested in Samut Prakan for allegedly swindling victims in a romance scam via a dating app, police said on Saturday.
Pongsakorn Supakornmongkolchai, 43, was caught in front of a gold shop on Sukhumvit Road in tambon Sam Rong Nua of Muang district on Friday. The arrest was made jointly by police cyber taskforce unit 5 and the Metropolitan Police Bureau's Investigation Division.
The probe was launched when a victim sought help from national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas after she claimed to have been duped out of 1.51 million baht in a romance scam.
Police said the victim met the suspect who introduced himself as "Tom" or "Thanet", with a good-looking profile picture via the Bumble dating app. After chatting online, the suspect learnt the victim suffers from depression.
Mr Pongsakorn exploited her symptoms by demanding she have sex with his father, also a suspect under investigation, if she wanted to maintain the relationship. Later, the two met at a hotel in tambon Sam Rong Nua from Jan 6-19. The victim was duped into investing in exchange scams and also told to sell her car to fund further investments.
Pol Gen Damrongsak instructed Pol Maj Gen Theeradet Thammasuthee, commander of the MPB's Investigation Division who also acts as PCT unit 5 chief, to work with a crime analysis team. Pol Maj Gen Theeradet said the victim has been assessed to be a suicide risk.