Teenage scam suspect arrested in Thailand after family tragedy unfolds

Picture courtesy of Sutthiwit Chayutworakan, Bangkok Post

A 19 year old woman accused of being involved in a scam operation tied to a tragic family incident in Samut Prakan, was apprehended as she reentered Thailand from Cambodia via a Sa Kaeo province border checkpoint.

Police, including immigration and local police, made the arrest in the arrivals area shortly after Suchada Chabutsri entered Poipet township in Cambodia. The capture occurred last night, according to Sa Kaeo immigration police chief, Rung Thongmon.

Suchada was the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the Samut Prakan Provincial Court on Monday, August 28. The charges included complicity in fraud, entering false information into a computer system resulting in damage to individuals, and opening a bank account for fraudulent purposes.

Police Colonel Rung Thongmon confirmed that Suchada admitted her identity as mentioned in the arrest warrant. She was initially detained at Klong Luek Police Station in Sa Kaeo and was to be transferred to Bang Kaeo Police Station in Samut Prakan province.

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Suchada is one of six individuals wanted for operating mule accounts for a fraud gang. The scam led a family member in Samut Prakan into severe debt, resulting in the husband murdering his wife and two sons before attempting to take his own life, reported Bangkok Post

The tragic incident related to the scam operation attracted significant media and public attention. In response, Bang Kaeo police issued arrest warrants for six individuals involved in the scam.

Suchada, a resident of Sa Kaeo’s Ta Phraya district, was among these suspects. Upon discovering her role in the scam operation based in Poipet, Cambodia, immigration investigators kept a close eye on her movements, leading to her arrest upon her return to Thailand. The hunt for the remaining suspects is ongoing, Pol. Col. Rung confirmed.

The family tragedy took place in a three-story townhouse behind Wat Nam Daeng in Tambon Bang Kaeo of Bang Phli district. The bodies of two boys, aged 9 and 13, and their mother, 44 year old Wipaporn Racha, were discovered with severe neck and body wounds. The father, 41 year old Sanit Dokmai, confessed to the murders over a phone call. He had attempted suicide but survived and was taken to hospital with a deep slash across his neck and a cut wrist.

The chain of tragic events reportedly began when Sanit was asked by his employer to refinance a car. The employer failed to repay the loan and filed for bankruptcy, leaving Dokmai responsible for the debt.

His wife sought a personal loan on social media to help repay the debt and fell victim to the scam gang. She initially sought a loan of about 100,000 baht (US$ 2,848) but was tricked into borrowing a total of 1.7 million baht (US$ 48,428) from multiple sources and subsequently transferred the money to the fraudsters.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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