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Pair allegedly steals phone cards valued at 240 million baht

Jack Arthur




Yesterday, 2 people have been arrested for allegedly stealing prepaid phone cards. Collectively, they caused north of 200 million baht in damages.

The two phone card nabbing suspects are 43 year old Naret Chamnong and 46 year old Phatcharalak Waenwong. They are both former employees of a mobile phone operator.

Police searched 2 locations yesterday in Bangkok and Saraburi, a central province northeast of Bangkok.

The suspects were wanted on arrest warrants on charges of theft and money laundering. They have been accused of colluding in stealing prepaid phone cards from an (undisclosed) warehouse and then selling them.

The police first searched a 2 storey house in the Hill Hut housing estate in Saraburi, about 6 am yesterday. There, police seized a Mercedes Benz GLC 250 and a Mercedes Benz C200. Also: a motorcycle, gold ornaments, luxury watches, brand-name bags and passbooks worth 10 million baht in total.

Then, in the Bang Na district of Bangkok, police arrested Phatcharalak. They seized a Mazda CX-5, half a million baht in cash, as well as “other valuable items”.

CSD chief, Suwat Saengnum says the arrest follows the mobile operator filing a complaint with CSD investigators sometime last year. The mobile operators stated they were out 3.12 million of prepaid cards that had a combined value of more than 240 million baht, taken from a warehouse.

In the course of the police investigation, they speculated that Naret, who worked as a supervisor of the company’s supply chain production, and Phatcharalak, a senior officer of the e-refill operation, may have been involved in the theft.

It is assumed police were still gathering evidence until they could arrest the suspects this year.

Naret and Phatcharalak were employed at the mobile phone company for more than 2 decades. They allegedly stole prepaid phone cards and then sold them to retail shops for a markdown. They had allegedly been running this theft since 2018. Thai media says this got them over 146 million baht. The pair resigned last year prior to the company’s probe.

The CSD chief says the pair used their ill-gotten gains to buy investment units in mutuals funds, life insurance plans, houses, land plots, gold, luxury cars, watches and handbags.

The couple allegedly confessed to the thefts under questioning. They are being held in CSD custody for further legal proceedings. Police are still investigating.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times


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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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