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3 men arrested in Sinopharm vaccine scam

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: 3 men allegedly posed as doctors online to sell Sinopharm vaccines that didn't exist. (via Flickr/Casino Connection)

A vaccine scam was broken up with 3 men alleged to have pretended to be doctors to sell people Sinopharm vaccines that did not exist. Police have identified and apprehended 3 men they believe to be the perpetrators of the scam that saw men posing as doctors in order to take payments for vaccines appointments that never actually existed.

The scam was uncovered when a woman showed up for a vaccine appointment at Sikarin Hospital in Bang Na district and the medical facility had no record of her name. She contacted the police and filed a complaint last Friday.

She had messaged someone via a Facebook account to ask about getting a vaccine and was contacted back by a man claiming to be a doctor at Siriraj Hospital on June 8. The man launched the scam by offering her a Sinopharm vaccine he claimed was from Chulabhorn Royal Academy. He explained it was a leftover from the Federateion of Thai Industries who bulk purchased vaccines, and offered it to the woman for 1,800 baht for 2 doses.

The woman attempted to make sure the vaccine was legit and not a scam by checking 2 Line groups called “Vaccine Sinopharm” and “IT system, alternative vaccines” for details. Feeling confident in the offer’s legitimacy, she invited 34 friends to take advantage of the offer. In total she transferred 61,200 baht to the scammer’s bank account.

The Samut Prakan Provincial Court had issued warrants for the 3 alleged vaccine scammers for charges of impersonating others, spreading false information online, and fraud. The Bang Kaew police chief gave details of apprehending each of the men involved in the vaccine scam, revealing that the first had attempted to hide by ordaining at a Suphan Buri temple. The second was picked up later in the Muang district of Saraburi, while the third man was taken into custody yesterday.

The man arrested yesterday maintains that he was not actually involved in the scam, but that a friend who was previously arrested in a separate vaccine scam had used his identification info while committing the crimes.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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