Gemstone caper: DSI rocks the boat, suing 32 scammers in 227 million baht bluff

Photo: Chingyunsong, By istock.

The Special Case Investigation Department (DSI) filed a lawsuit against a scammer and her 31 associates for soliciting fraudulent investment in precious gemstones, causing damages exceeding 227 million baht. The case encompasses over 50,000 documents and the suspects will be handed over to the prosecutor on September 28.

The DSI revealed that the Financial Business Crime Division had been investigating a special case in which the scammer Wanthanee, also known as Mae Manee, often referred to as Mother of Gems, together with her group, had lured people into investing through advertisements on Facebook.

The enticing posts promised a 93% return per month for an investment period of one month, with the principal and interest to be returned after this period.

The scheme was marketed under several Facebook pages, including names such as Monni Rattan Surang Mat Thamm Sawangkul, Nadear Wanthanee, Mangmee Srisuk Barami Pimpun and Deposit for Future.

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The organisation claimed to accept deposits and savings each circle of roughly 1,000 baht and promised to repay 93% of the investment amount each month through Facebook messages and live videos.

The principle and interest were to be repaid after a month, which was the investment period. The group persuaded individuals to save money with them by promising a 93% return at the end of the one-month period.

Investment options

They also offered a number of other investment options with varied rates of return, which were presented as rates ranging from 1,116 baht to 3,040.45 baht annually, surpassing the maximum interest rate that financial institutions are permitted to charge.

These efforts were made to pique the public’s attention and inspire their confidence to invest with them.

The group did not invest the deposited money into legal investments that would generate the announced returns to pay the investors. Instead, they used the money from new and repeat investors to pay the earlier or current investors whose terms for receiving investment returns and principal had arrived each day.

This scheme deceived thousands of people, including 1,133 investors involved in this case, into handing over their money to the group, causing the public to lose their investments and suffer damage amounting to 227,452,365.05 baht.

Upon completion of the investigation, the DSI director considered that there was sufficient evidence to sue the 31 suspects for offences of Conspiring to defraud the public and conspiring to commit public fraud under the Public Fraud Loan Act B.E. 2527.

They requested the prosecutor to seize the assets and principal money or damages from all 31 suspects according to the Criminal Procedure Code, Article 43, and the Public Fraud Loan Act B.E. 2527, Article 9.

The DSI handed over the suspects and over 133 files consisting of 50,857 pages of investigation documents to the Special Case Prosecutor’s Office of the Office of the Attorney General on September 27 for further legal action, reported Khaosod.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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