Bangkok bamboozle: Thai woman held in 100 million baht real estate swindle

Picture courtesy of Pattaya News.

A Thai woman was taken into custody in Bangkok on Saturday over her alleged involvement in an elaborate real estate swindle. The magnitude of the financial misrepresentation balloons to over 100 million baht, according to the Royal Thai Police (RTP).

The apprehension of the suspect was carried out on the basis of a Pattaya court’s arrest warrant issued on December 28, 2022. In addition to this, she was also being sought under 11 other warrants, according to arresting RTP officers on Saturday, September 9.

The woman in question, identified as Warinnicha, also known as Khun Ao, is 46 years old. The charges against her, as per the Pattaya court’s warrant, include conspiracy to deceive the public and the provision of false information into a computer system. Her role in the real estate swindle was ambiguously referred to as the CEO of the development and company in numerous real estate articles about the project. However, the police report remained unclear about her actual position.

The arrest took place in a condominium located in the Rat Burana district of Bangkok.

Warinnicha’s alleged fraudulent activities date back to the early stages of 2020, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Exploiting the economic hardships faced by businesses and individuals in Thailand, she, along with her associates, established a condominium construction company named The Rhine Condominium under the Wealth Assets Group. They set up operations in Jomtien, Hua Hin, and Cha-am, aiming to provide lucrative investment opportunities to the public. The company also accepted payments in various digital currencies, framing it as a novel opportunity with high returns.

However, the Investigation Division of Misappropriation and Fraud (IDMB) disclosed that the actual returns did not match the promised ones. Moreover, all advance compensation cheques provided by the company were reportedly rejected by banks, leading to a significant number of affected individuals. Police estimate the total damages to be nearly 100 million baht from the real estate swindle.

This incident has led numerous victims to file complaints and take legal action against Warinnicha in various provinces, including Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Chonburi.

While Warinnicha is currently in custody, the search for her alleged accomplices is ongoing. Some of them are believed to be Chinese nationals. No plea or statement has been released by Warinnicha in response to the allegations.

The Rhine’s social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have not been updated in over a year, and their website now redirects to a Chinese educational website about wills. This leaves investors out of pocket and relying on court action, according to Thai police. As such, any representatives from the Rhine, if they exist, were unavailable to comment on this story.

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Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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