Thai woman thought she had found true love, only to end up behind bars.

Fifty year old Chamanun Phetporee thought she had found the love of her life. A man claiming to be a doctor in Afghanistan messaged her on Linkedin in 2019, and sparks flew, at least for Chamanun. She and her new long-distance love, who called himself ‘Dr Andrew Chang’ began to message each other for hours every night.

Little did she know that she was about to fall victim to what some have called Thailand’s biggest romance scam.

‘Andy’ told Chamanun, a chief financial officer of a multinational company, that he wanted to retire in Thailand after he finished his contract in Afghanistan. He said he would like to transfer an inheritance from his late father, worth $US58 million, to buy a luxury home for the 2 of them in Thailand. Chamanun helped her new lover search for a home.

Once Chamanun found a home, however, Andy said he was having trouble transferring money for the payment out of a Swiss bank account. He asked Chamanun to pay the deposit, promising to pay her back. Although Chamanun was suspicious, Andy convinced her to do so by sending her his father’s death certificate from England where he had died. But after she made the deposit, the requests didn’t stop there.

Andy continued to tell Chamanun that he needed more money for other expenses that he said were related to his inheritance. Since she had no money left after the house deposit, Andy convinced her to “borrow” money from her company, Essilor Manufacturing Thailand.

Over the next 3 months, Chamanun used fake invoices and false accounting entries to make 251 transfers to 112 bank accounts in 17 countries. Her company caught on and hired private investigators. Chamanun was arrested in 2020. Police Lieutenant General Jirabhop Bhuridej said…

“The romance scam was the start of fraudulent financial activity. Initially, she intended to transfer US$300 million, some 10.17 billion baht, and eventually managed to move 6.22 billion baht. These scammers invented stories to trick her.”

Chamanun was charged with 251 counts of theft from an employer and faced up to four years in jail for each offence. Since she was also a victim of crime and had cooperated with the investigation, a judge sentenced her to only two years per offence. Chamanun will serve a maximum of 20 years.

Another police lieutenant, Colonel Korkiat, said that Chamanun cried and that “her whole world was breaking down.” Chamanun thought she had found the love of her life, but she thought wrong.

SOURCE: ABC Australia | Bangkok Post

Crime NewsThailand News

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.

Related Articles