Thai police busts 500 million baht fraudulent loan scheme in a massive operation

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

A massive operation by Thai police led to the arrest of 13 individuals linked to nine fraudulent loan applications, with a total of 500 million baht found circulating in seized passbooks.

The Central Investigation Bureau’s (CIB) top officer, Police Lieutenant General Jirabhop Bhuridej, disclosed the details during a press briefing yesterday. The operation spanned across ten provinces, including Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Chon Buri, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachin Buri, Ayutthaya, Samut Prakan, Chumphon, and Trang.

The primary suspects, 37 year old Yuwathida Puengpipat and Weerayut Pongpanuwat, were apprehended under the authority of warrants issued by the Criminal Court. The charges against them include collusion in fraud, inputting false data into a computer system, operating loan businesses without permission at an interest rate exceeding the legal limit, use of force in debt collection, and involvement in an international crime organisation.

The remaining 11 arrestees were implicated in the operation of mule accounts. Furthermore, the police confiscated 52 items, including passbooks, notebooks, tablets, and other electronic devices, as part of the raids.

The police report revealed that over 500 million baht had circulated within these accounts. The loan apps, developed in China, included Rich Loan, PleasantSheep, SummerCash, FortuneCat, GoldenTiger, FastCash, OrangeCash, GoldenFlower, and MemoryLoan, reported Bangkok Post.

The victims were required to grant access to their personal information on their mobile phones, such as contact lists, bank account numbers, photo albums, cameras, GPS, or microphones, to one of these loan apps. They were then asked to provide their real name, source of income, address, bank account number, a photo of their ID card and their face, and phone number to receive a one-time password (OTP).

Upon completing the authentication process, each victim received only 55% of the total loan amount requested but was instructed to repay the full amount within six days. The interest rate was a staggering 7.5% per day, which amounts to 225% per month or 2,737.5% per year.

Crime NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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