CrimeThailand

Thai woman allegedly defrauds American PPE company of 239 million baht

An American PPE company alleges that a Thai woman defrauded them of a staggering 239 million baht (US$8 million) in a high-profile public fraud case centred around rubber gloves.

On February 18, 2021, US Company Quick Aid LLC wired 239 million Thai baht to a private Thai company named Singhaseni Group Co., Ltd. The Thai company had a single 45 year old director named Chinna Sinhaseni, said Quick Aid.

The 239 million baht sent to Chinna was intended to be a 50% deposit for the purchase of certified USFDA/CDC 510(K) rubber nitrile gloves.

Chinna told Quick Aid that her company could produce the rubber gloves in Thailand and deliver them to the American company within 45 days.

Quick Aid alleges that within a few days of receiving the money, in a company account, Chinna drained the whole lot in cash and bank cheques.

A few months later, she changed her name to Sirilinnhanee Bunnag, alleges the US Company.

Allegedly, this is not the first time Chinna has changed her name, using eight different legal names in her lifetime including…

  1. Chisslusa Phromgajang
  2. Chisslusa Sriganjahn
  3. Chisslusa Tanyasiriphat
  4. Nanaphat Sriganjahn
  5. Pisamai Sriganjahn
  6. Chisaphat Thansiriphat
  7. Chinna Sinhaseni
  8. Sirilinnhanee Bunnag

Quick Aid said Chinna co-opted noble surnames such as Sinhaseni and Bunnag. Quick Aid believes that such “high society” names are intended to lead people to think that she and her company have high-level family connections.

“Thai laws make it easy for fraudsters to change names—which can be utilized to fool new victims and to hide from past crimes,” said a representative from Quick Aid.

Chinna has a history of criminal complaints, and there were four warrants out for her arrests last year for cases which have been “cleared” since the rubber glove scam.

“The relevant cases were settled out of court when the defendant realized that Quick Aid could request she is taken into custody using those warrants. Settlement may have been accomplished using the same funds connived from Quick Aid.”

Previous warrants for Chinna’s arrest have all been for fraud charges, making her a serial scammer, says the US Company.

In marketing her business, Chinna flaunted records from the Thai Department of Business Development showing the Singhaseni Company had 950 million baht in registered capital, said Quick Aid.

The high level of capital would indicate a significant business value, yet financial statements reveal that the company never earned more than 1 million baht in a single year of its existence, alleged Quick Aid.

“Thai law enables fraudsters to increase a company’s registered capital by churning the same deposit amount, depositing and withdrawing capital each time, to disingenuously inflate the registered capital figure.”

Then, Chinna registered the 239 million baht received from Quick Aid asonal investment into Singhaseni Company, inflating the value of her ‘company’ once more, says Quick Aid.

At the same time, by characterising this taxable sales income as non-taxable new investment, she avoided paying any taxes normally owed to the Revenue Department, says Quick Aid.

“As soon as the new capital was registered, Chinna promptly emptied the company’s account—leaving it as empty as it was before, but with over THB 1 billion of registered capital. Chinna has retained the company front Singhaseni, with its inflated registered capital, with the potential to use the same company front in future fraud.”

Allegedly, Chinna registered on the USFDA website as an authorized manufacturer and supplier of USFDA/CDC 510(K) rubber nitrile gloves out of Thailand.

Then, Chinna reportedly created a Facebook page promoting the company’s USFDA certification.

“In truth, Singhaseni Company had no such certification, nor were they authorized by any certified manufacturer to export on their behalf. After collecting the funds from Quick Aid, Chinna removed the Company’s USFDA online registration.”

In July 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinna allegedly got up to more fraudulent activity to promote her ‘company.’

“Building on her company’s inflated registered capital, Chinna publicised an agreement signing with Prince of Songkhla University, ATGenes Co., Ltd. and the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) to set up rubber gloves manufacturing operations with her Thai corporation, Singhaseni Group Co., Ltd.

“This was covered by Thailand news media, creating public attention for her planned dealings amidst COVID. As of today, none of these highly promoted plans ever came to fruition.”

Over time, Chinna created a false image of a successful glove manufacturer. Sinhaseni then utilised cross-border online web platforms to have Quick Aid obtain trade financing to fund the 239 million baht transaction, says Quick Aid.

Then, Chinna’s company drafted a commercial contract. The contract was later reversed when Chinna offered to “repurchase” the gloves that were not delivered.

Latter, Chinna allegedly rejected own repurchase offer as being “legally void.” A series of settlement letters followed, but Chinna never refunded a single baht, says Quick Aid.

“[The letters] were likely used to feign good intent and to disingenuously defend the case as a commercial contract breach rather than the blatant, willful, and knowing criminal fraud. She has exhibited a pattern of making false promises of repayment, presumtoer to delay proceedings and create the illusion of good faith.”

Quick Aid says the case has big repercussions.

“This case is important to the Thai public as well as the parties involved, as the defendant has shown a pattern of fraud through aiders and abettors. Future PPE sales, as well as Thailand’s general ability to draw business and foreign investment to Thailand from potential partners throughout the world, has and will likely continue to suffer as fraudulent actors focus their efforts here due to slow prosecution and weak punitive laws.

“For example, a fraud perpetrated privately carries a maximum sentence of three years—regardless of the amount of the fraud. In Sinhaseni’s case, three years in prison for 239 million baht works out to nearly 80 million baht a year—the reward from committing fraud far outweighs the maximum penalty.”

Quick Aid’s attorneys filed a criminal complaint based on the foregoing pattern of fraud, willful deception, and the conversion of all funds from the company through cash withdrawals to avoid any onward trace of funds.

Tomorrow, the case will go to court in Bangkok for the first time – nearly two years since Quick Aid wired the money for the nonexistent rubber gloves.

The Thaiger contacted the defendant, Chinna, for comment and a right of reply. However, the defendant did not reply.

leah

Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.