Police have arrested a young woman on charges of swindling fans of the K-pop group Blackpink out of at least 700,000 baht by selling e-tickets that had already been sold.
Nattharika “Disco” Yangsuai was arrested at an apartment in the Jorakhae Bua area of Lat Phrao district, Pol Maj Gen Theeradet Thammasuthee, commander of the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) Investigation Division, said on Wednesday.
Police said 10 complaints had been filed against the suspect in connection with resales of tickets for the Blackpink concerts that took place at Rajamangala National Stadium last Saturday and Sunday.
A further check showed that Ms Nattharika, 26, was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Saraburi Provincial Court on April 27 for online fraud. All told, she was named in nine complaints — one each in Saraburi and Nonthaburi and seven in Bangkok — between April last year and January this year.
The complaints had been brought to the attention of Police Cyber Taskforce (PCT) officers, who worked with MPB investigators to track down the scammer in the capital.
During questioning, police say, the suspect confessed to the fraud. She told officers that she earned money as a ticket scalper, reselling concert tickets, including those for Blackpink, one of the world’s biggest acts.
The K-Pop band featuring Thai superstar Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban brought their Born Pink World Tour to the Suphachalasai National Stadium in Bangkok on Jan 7 and 8. Tickets were priced from 2,000 to 9,600 baht. In response to overwhelming demand, they staged two “encore” performances this past weekend before 100,000 fans at Rajamangala National Stadium, with tickets priced between 2,800 and 14,800 baht.
Ms Nattharika told investigators she had asked friends and her sisters to buy tickets for the Blackpink shows online and then resold the e-tickets to fans. The group bought 200 tickets at 9,600 baht each and resold them for between 15,000 and 30,000 baht. All 200 tickets sold out, reaping a handsome profit.
But demand was so high that she continued to get inquiries after the original 200 tickets were gone. She decided to offer the same e-tickets again, even though they had already been resold.
When the fans turned up for the concert, a problem emerged as each ticket had more than one owner. Many disappointed “Blinks”, as the group’s fans are known, were turned away as a result.
The suspect was held in police custody for further legal action.
Blackpink fans take selfies outside Rajamangala National Stadium prior to the show on Saturday. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)