Man nabbed in fortune-telling scam
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Man nabbed in fortune-telling scam

Police officers speak to Suwatchai Chiangmai, 37, on Saturday after arresting him for allegedly deceiving people out of money in a fortune-telling scam. (Photo: Wassayos Ngamkham)
Police officers speak to Suwatchai Chiangmai, 37, on Saturday after arresting him for allegedly deceiving people out of money in a fortune-telling scam. (Photo: Wassayos Ngamkham)

A man has been arrested for posing as an online fortune-teller with psychic abilities after swindling more than 100 people out of money in a two-year scam.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) apprehended the 37-year-old con artist identified as Suwatchai Chiangmai at Golden Place convenience store on Ngamwongwan road in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district on Saturday. He was wanted on a warrant issued by the Phra Nakhon Nua court for fraud and putting false information into a computer system. 

Pol Maj Gen Theeradej Thamsuthee, commander of the MPB investigation division, said on Sunday Mr Suwatchai, a Bangkok native, used a Facebook page named "Jakree Chaengmai" to scam people out of money, with fees starting from 199 baht. He proclaimed himself as a fortune-teller who could communicate with deities in heaven. 

He told his customers that they faced misfortune – but he could hold a Brahmin ceremony to ward off the bad luck, fix their karma and draw good fortune from past good deeds. He claimed the ceremony needed to be held several times and would charge more money each time. The money lost by victims ranged from of hundreds of baht up to six-digit figures, depending on their financial strength and their faith in him.

Following his arrest, police found Mr Suwatchai also had four other arrest warrants on fraud charges issued by courts in Nakhon Ratchasima, Min Buri, Samut Prakan and Chiang Mai dated between Sept 5, 2022, and Jan 1, 2024.     

Pol Gen Theeradej said the arrest is part of ongoing efforts to crack down on all types of cybercrimes that caused distress to masses of people.

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