Spiritual medium scams four Thais out of 600,000 baht

Picture courtesy of Sanook

In a tale of deception, four residents reported to police their loss of 600,000 baht (US$17,015) due to a scam involving a woman claiming to be a spiritual medium. The culprit convinced her victims to perform an expensive ritual, warning that without it, their lives could be at risk. To add to the losses, the fraudster promised to provide cheap cars but never delivered.

Deceived by a 47 year old fortune teller and part-time soul guide known as Luek Gaew, four aggrieved citizens found themselves out-of-pocket. The case culminated in a report to the Don Yanang Police Station in Thailand’s Bueng Kan province yesterday.

It all began in 2016 when Luek Gaew, a friend of the victims for over five years, embarked on an elaborate ruse, the potency of which did not become clear to the victims until it was too late.

Basing her operation in the close-knit community of Don Yanang, Luek Gaew managed to convince the victims of a curse they fell under. She insisted they needed a ceremony conducted by herself to rid themselves of this ill fortune. Within her extensive fabrication, Luek Gaew claimed she was the host body for a spirit guide named Pi Pia, with whom she shared her predictions of the victims’ unique National Identification and bank account numbers.

Securing their trust, Luek Gaew convinced the victims to deposit money into her account for future use. She gave assurance that the money could be withdrawn immediately upon request, reinforcing the belief that the victims’ funds were safe, reported Sanook.

By 2022, Luek Gaew began to orchestrate a communal religious event. She claimed that figures engraved within the local Pa Samakkhi Tham temple needed donations for refurbishment, attracting additional funds from her victims on the pretence of favourable second-hand car deals. The accumulative loss of these victims stacked up to a crippling 620,000 baht.

These secondary transactions acted as the enabler for Luek Gaew’s true intentions, as victims were left empty-handed, both in terms of the promised cars and the bulk of their savings. Having realised they had been cheated, the victims sought to reclaim their money midway through 2021.

Luek Gaew agreed to refund every last baht to them. However, deadlines were continuously missed until the last correspondence on July 6, offering nothing more than an excuse about the delay being down to spirit-guide intervention.

Pa Samakkhi Tham’s Abbot, known as Ajarn Paeh, detailed to journalists the donation of a significant Buddha statue by residents of Nong Hua Chang village under the coordination of Luek Gaew in the previous year. Notably, he could not confirm the existence of any such individual as Luek Gaew within the temple grounds.

Meanwhile, 72 year old Charom Phochan, a devotee and a local, echoed the Monk’s sentiment, admitting he’d heard of the Buddha statue donation but never seen the entity allegedly inhabiting Luek Gaew’s body. The realisation of being cheated by a close friend has cost these four victims not only their money but also their trust in acquaintances and faith.

Crime NewsThailand News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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