Connect with us

Crime

DSI takes over 400 million baht ‘Mae Manee’ Ponzi scheme investigation

Jack Burton

Published 

 on 

Police are hunting for a woman suspected to be at the head of a huge pyramid scheme that has allegedly scammed hundreds of people.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin has handed a case, where at least 2000 victims were allegedly cheated out of more than 430 million baht, over to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI).

The ”Mae Manee pyramid scheme” was allegedly run by a couple who offered returns of up to 93% a month. The alleged architect of the scheme was using a fake profile as part of the scam.

A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors. The scheme leads victims to believe that profits are coming from product sales or other means, and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of funds. A Ponzi scheme can maintain the illusion of a sustainable business as long as new investors contribute new funds, and as long as most of the investors do not demand full repayment and still believe in the non-existent assets they are purported to own. The scheme is named after Charles Ponzi, who became notorious for using the technique in the 1920s.

On Tuesday October 29 the Criminal Court approved warrants for the arrest of 28 year old Wantanee Tippaveth, aka. Mae Manee, and her 20 year old boyfriend Methee Chinnapha. They face charges of public fraud, illicit borrowings and the input of false data into a computer system.

Somsak said the DSI has begun allowing victims to file complaints via QR code, with about 1,600 complaints filed on the first day alone. Already this week around 200 victims have filed complaints in person with the DSI’s Bureau of Financial Business Crime.

That brings the number of complaints to 1,800, with 432 million baht lost, according to Somsak. Another 200 victims filed complaints with police on Monday, amounting to some 100 million baht.

An offence must involve at least 300 victims with more than 100 million baht lost to qualify as a DSI special case, Mr Somsak said, and the Mae Manee scam meets the criteria.

He told the DSI to to take up the case quickly as it involves a very large amount of money and any delay might allow the suspects to hide their assets, saying the DSI will ask the Anti-Money Laundering Office to freeze the suspects’ assets.

As for remedial measures to compensate victims of pyramid schemes, Somsak said no laws or funds have been established to help them yet.

On Monday the DSI’s director for financial business crime said pyramid scammers often lure victims by promising around 15% in monthly returns. He was shocked to learn the Mae Manee scheme offered up to 93%.

Victims told investigators that the scheme began in March. Members were initially happy with the returns, until payments stopped this month. The DSI says Wantanee promoted her scheme via her social media accounts.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Wikipedia

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism30 mins ago

Airlines look to vaccine rollout to restore demand and boost economy

Myanmar13 hours ago

Burmese military media outlets say ethnic army killed 25 workers

Thailand15 hours ago

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says drug suppression should to be a national priority

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand16 hours ago

Purchases of fancy street lamps being investigated for possible corruption

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand News Today | BKK parks re-open… nearly, tropical storm, airport security upgrade | June 14

Thailand16 hours ago

Missing fisherman’s body found in sea off Nakhon Si Thammarat

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

CCSA: We’re out of vaccines

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Ayutthaya hospital to test all staff for Covid after 18 test positive

Thailand18 hours ago

13 teenagers arrested in Chon Buri for partying, gathering

Crime18 hours ago

Crime Suppression Division seizes dozens of illegal firearms in a series of raids

Crime18 hours ago

Marijuana valued at 10 million baht seized in Nakhon Phanom, 2 arrested

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 3,355 new cases, provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Almost 100% of teachers and staff vaccinated in Bangkok

Thailand20 hours ago

Almost 8 million register for stimulus scheme, app briefly goes down

Best of20 hours ago

Top 5 best temples in Bangkok

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending