Police have arrested a former model who they say orchestrated an online investment scam, extorting over 100 million baht from victims.
Wetika Jaija, 30, was arrested at a residence in San Sai district of Chiang Mai, said Pol Maj Gen Phuthidej Boonkraphue, head of the Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD).
She was charged with obtaining loans amounting to public cheating, fraud and entering false computer data into a computer system.
Pol Maj Gen Phuthidej said Ms Wetika had lured victims into investing in a Ponzi scheme, claiming she had won a world-class trading competition. She posted photos of her luxury items, cars and house on her Facebook page to attract people to invest.
Victims were “guaranteed” a 100% return on their investment. In the initial phase, they received consistent dividends. However, Ms Wetika subsequently stopped paying their returns and took down her social media sites.
More than 100 people had transferred their money to Ms Wetika. The damage was estimated to be at least 100 million baht, Pol Maj Gen Phuthidej said on Thursday.
Ms Wetika denied all the charges when questioned. However, police records showed that she was the subject of 11 arrest warrants issued in various provinces including Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok, Pathum Thani, Tak, Sa Kaeo and Chiang Rai.
Pol Maj Gen Phuthidej suggested that when people are offered an investment opportunity, they check to see if the businesses is licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also warned against investments that promise unusually high returns.