Police on the prowl for scam gang after Thai teen commits suicide

Police are on the prowl for a scamming gang after a teenage boy committed suicide in Thailand’s central Nonthaburi province. The boy, 15 year old Arthit, hung himself in a wooded area in the Pakkret district on Sunday.

Arthit left a note apologising to his mother for stealing up to 15,000 baht from her purse.

Investigators later found that criminals had tricked Arthit into investing with them, promising him that he could earn money by watching YouTube videos. The group’s administrator, Admin Paopao, usually told victims the number of clips to watch, and the wages and fees, Nation TV’s Ittipat Pinrarod reported.

The scammers told Athit that if he invested more money, he could earn more. The fees ranged between 100 and 1,000 baht, and the wages offered ranged from 400 baht for 10 clips to 5,000 baht for 50 clips. Athit ended up investing over 10,000 baht, Thai media reported.

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Ittipat said the group’s bank account has been blacklisted. It was registered under the name Opas Phalaprom, he said.

Arthit’s family and community are devastated by his loss. Athit’s mother said she wished he had told her about the situation, so they could solve it together. She said she would have calmed him down and stopped him from committing suicide. She said she could not accept that her son had died and wanted police to catch the suspects as soon as possible.

A classmate of Arthit’s said at his funeral that Arthit was a very good student, and he wanted the police to arrest the gang as soon as possible.

Thailand has a massive problem with online scams, which have financially devastated people across the country. In November, a woman who allegedly scammed victims for over 30 million baht has been arrested in Pattaya.

The woman was allegedly part of a loan shark network. She convinced victims to invest with her, claiming would get much higher returns for low risk and no work needed.

In October, a scammer who posed as a police chief was arrested in Thailand’s central Ayutthaya province.

The latest scam case in Nonthaburi has now resulted in the tragic death of a teenager.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai), or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai). Please also contact your friends or relatives at this time if you have feelings of loneliness, stress, or depression. Seek help.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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