Four arrested for credit card offenses

PHUKET TOWN: Police have nabbed one Malaysian and three Thais suspected of a major credit card fraud and forgery operation. Lee On Chin, a 49-year-old Chinese Malaysian, and Kiattikorn Rakkaew, 33, were arrested Tuesday in front of Daeng Plaza Hotel on Phuket Rd while using credit cards to draw money from an ATM machine. Prajak Nalita, 32, was arrested the same day at the Poungpen Tour Co office in Poonphol Night Plaza, and the fourth suspect, 42-year-old Poungpen Budarkart, was arrested at her home on Yaowarat Rd. Pol Maj Gen Kongpol Suwannaraks, commander of the Phuket Provincial Police, said yesterday that the arrests were made following a police investigation, which was prompted by complaints from several banks and other local companies. “From the investigation we found out that this group of four were cooperating in these credit card activities, and using Poungpen Tour as a front for the operation. “The company was opened by Poungpen, who is listed as the company’s director. Kiattikorn acted as a manager, while the other two are listed as shareholders,” said Gen Kongpol. “Mr Lee confessed to police that he bought forged credit cards from a friend in Malaysia and brought them to Phuket.” He added that Lee, who is married to Poungpen, told police that the cards were used to buy gold and jewelry, which were subsequently sold for cash. When shops where the purchases had been made brought the credit card slips to various banks for processing, the banks discovered that the cards had been forged from stolen numbers. Police found that the most of the card numbers used by the suspects originated from European countries, with the numbers then being printed on fake cards. Further evidence gathered from the Poungpen Tour office included 12 bank account books from five Thai banks, with a combined balance of about 500,000 baht. In addition, investigators found 365 credit cards purportedly issued by various Thai banks and Hong Kong Bank, along with a list of credit card numbers, a magnetic card swiping device, 51 credit card slips, six mobile phones, and 500,000 baht in cash. The suspects were charged with fraud and forgery, and are now in custody at the Phuket Town police station. All four have confessed to the allegations. If convicted of fraud, each faces a fine of up to 6,000 baht, or three years in prison, or both. The maximum penalty for forgery is a fine of 10,000 baht, or five years in prison, or both.

Phuket News
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