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DSI provides info for probe into UFUN




– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

DSI provides info for probe into UFUN
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) passed information about the case against UFUN Thailand’s alleged pyramid scheme to police yesterday for further investigation, as three more people – one a military officer – filed complaints with police over the company.

The number of plaintiffs has risen to 90, who have claimed losses of 35 million baht.

However, many members of UFUN claimed yesterday that the firm was legal and said allegations of fraud had hurt them financially.

They gathered outside Bangkok’s Central World mall to express their stance before filing a petition calling for justice at the police headquarters, across the road.

UFUN member Napapat Horakiat, 44, claimed there was evidence suggesting the Office of the Consumer Protection Board had issued a new licence for the company and its financial transactions were done online, meaning there were no receipts.

She said it was untrue UFUN was illegal because Thai law didn’t cover online trading and transactions, adding that the company was not linked to the U-Fun Store.

DSI chief Suwana Suwanjutha said she and assistant national police chief Lt Gen Suwira Songmetta would hold a press conference today to announce the DSI and police’s cooperation in the investigation.

The DSI would transfer information – including other pyramid schemes that had changed names and whose members may be involved in UFUN – to support police inquiries, she said.

Although the case was within the framework for the DSI to investigate as a special matter, the agency would not take it over because police had made great progress in its investigation without obstacles and it was more convenient for the alleged victims to file complaints at police stations, she said.

Consumer Protection Police Division deputy commander Col Angkul Klaikleung revealed three more people had filed complaints.

Meanwhile, the military officer, who asked not to be named, said he and other officers at an Ayutthaya camp joined the UFUN scheme in February and he paid an application fee of 105,000 baht.

He said he found online information about pyramid schemes that mentioned this company and he asked it for clarification but didn’t get a clear answer.

Upon learning UFUN executives had been arrested, he and his Army colleagues filed complaints.

Another alleged victim, who claimed to have invested 210,000 baht with UFUN since last May, said he filed a complaint with police after he couldn’t sell U-Token units a few days ago.

Gen Suwira said police were contacting their Malaysian counterparts for clarity about a wanted suspect – UFUN property executive Arthit Pankaew.

Gen Suwira said there was a report that Mr Arthit was a Chinese national who fled an arrest warrant for fraud in China and landed in Malaysia, where he allegedly joined others to open a pyramid scheme until Malaysian authorities issued an arrest warrant for him for fraud.

He then fled to Thailand in 2009 to undergo plastic surgery and change his name to Mr Arthit, Gen Suwira said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors


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