Two more warrants out in Ufun case

Two more warrants out in Ufun case

The Criminal Court yesterday approved warrants of the arrest of two more suspects in a major transnational Ponzi scheme which allegedly cheated people out of more than 10 billion baht.

Pol Lt Gen Suwira Songmeta, an assistant national police chief, said yesterday the court has issued the arrest warrants for Lt Gen Athiwat Soonpan, a chief adviser to Ufun Store Co, and his wife, Jirapimon Soonpan.

The company is alleged to be part of a transnational scam gang.

They are wanted on charges of violating the Criminal Code and the law on obtaining loans amounting to public cheating and fraud.

Pol Lt Gen Suwira said the company had launched a drive to counter police information by telling its members the company had paid compensation to damaged parties.

The officer also alleged the company had threatened to file counter-lawsuits against anyone who filed police complaints against it.

Police were looking for Lt Gen Athiwat, who is thought to have left the country last Friday.

Dato Danial Tay, an executive of Ufun Store Co, yesterday denied the cheating allegations. He said the company is willing to comply with the laws, cooperate with Thai authorities, and provide necessary information to prove its innocence.

Although the company's business in Thailand has been temporarily suspended and its bank accounts frozen pending the police investigation, the company will do all it can to make payments to members who want to withdraw their money.

Last Friday, police also arrested Sub Lt Ritthidet Warong and Arthit Pankaew, members of the Ufun Store Co, on embezzlement charges at a house at Bangkok's Kannayao district.

Police also raided another house in the Yothin Pattana area of Bangkok, allegedly owned by Rattawit Titiarunwat, another suspect in the network who is still at large. Authorities confiscated valuables and two sports cars.

The scheme allegedly conned about 14,700 people out of their money with the total amount estimated at more than 10 billion baht.

The court also issued arrest warrants for other executives and shareholders of the firm, including several Thais and three Malaysians. 

Action against the firm began after several people filed complaints alleging they had been duped by the scheme. Ufun was legally registered to operate as a direct-sales company.

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