Influencer arrested for fraud over gift boxes

Influencer arrested for fraud over gift boxes

Some 'random' boxes were promised to contain gold worth far more than buyers paid

Influencer Aniwat Prathumthin, aka “Nara Crepe Katoey”, looks on as police officers search her boyfriend’s residence for evidence in a fraud case. (Photo supplied/ Wassayos Ngamkham)
Influencer Aniwat Prathumthin, aka “Nara Crepe Katoey”, looks on as police officers search her boyfriend’s residence for evidence in a fraud case. (Photo supplied/ Wassayos Ngamkham)

The social media influencer “Nara Crepe Katoey” has been arrested in Ayutthaya for public fraud over online sales of random gift boxes, some of which she said would contain gold worth far more than what people paid.

Consumer protection police searched three premises in Ayutthaya and Lop Buri on Tuesday morning in search of the transgender personality whose real name is Aniwat Prathumthin.

Aniwat, 24, was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Criminal Court for advertising or encouraging illegal acts, defrauding the public, committing graft or deceiving by putting false information into a computer system, and fraudulent borrowing, said Pol Maj Gen Anan Nanasombat, commander of the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD).

Police found the suspect at the home of her boyfriend in tambon Ban Krod of Bang Pa-in district. Seized from her were four mobile phones, an iPad and six bank account books.

Officers later searched a commercial building in the same district after learning that she had used it to store her goods and livestream sales of gift boxes. Many boxes of goods were seized.

Pol Maj Gen Anan said many victims had filed complaints that Aniwat, a well-known net idol, had lured people into buying random gift boxes during her livestreams on Facebook. The prices varied — 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000 baht.

For 10,000 baht, people were told they would have a chance of receiving 2 salueng or 50 satang weight of gold (worth more than 15,000 baht at current prices) plus 6,000 baht cash. Other boxes would contain other goods worth around 10,000 baht.

For 50,000 baht they might get 3 baht weight of gold and 20,000 baht cash. If they paid 100,000 baht they might get 5 baht weight of gold plus 50,000 baht cash — worth more than 200,000 baht at prevailing prices.

People transferred money but did not receive the gift boxes as promised, said Pol Maj Gen Anan. This led the victims to file the complaints.

In September last year, Aniwat was arrested on a charge of advertising dietary supplements containing the hazardous psychoactive stimulant desoxy-D2PM.

Three months before that, she was charged along with another transgender influencer and a woman with lese majeste, stemming from a video promotion for the Lazada e-commerce network.

The trio were freed on bail and denied the charges, their lawyer Duangrat Srinaunt said.

Lazada, Southeast Asia’s second-biggest online shopping platform, and the agency concerned apologised for the promotion, which triggered angry reactions from many members of the public and a brief boycott by the army and its personnel.

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