Phuket Property Scam
Two con artists in Patong, Phuket have been arrested after they allegedly made over THB16 million (US$535,491) by posing as real estate agents, reported the Phuket Gazette. The couple lured potential clients into fixed gambling matches of fantan.
Police arrested Wasan Choothong, 29, and Tiwalai Ruprasut, 58, acting on reports from two men who claimed the couple had scammed them out of THB200,000 (US$6,693) and THB900,000 (US$30,142) respectively.
Wasan already had three arrest warrants that had been issued by Phuket City Police, Bor Pud Polce and Ranong City Police, with fraud accusations totalling approximately THB15 million (US$502,383).
Tiwalai also had an arrest warrant previously issued by Bang Saphan Police in Prachuap Khiri Khan for fraud accusations worth THB1.3 million (US$43,540).
“The suspects told police that they had conducted many scams,” said Chiraphat Pochanaphan, superintendent of Patong Police.
“They said the total amount they had made through these scams was over THB16 million (US$535,491),” he added.
“Mr Wasan and Mrs Tiwalai posed as real estate agents and approached people trying to sell some land or a house, offering to arrange a meeting with a rich prospective buyer. There would be a long wait for the buyer to arrive, during which the victims would be invited to gamble to kill time. Associates of the scammers would be called in to participate in a rigged game of fantan, which is a traditional Chinese game of chance,” explained Chiraphat.
“The next thing the victims knew, was that they were broke,” said Paisarn Sangthep, deputy superintendent of Patong Police.
“People who put up property for sale signs may be targeted by the gang. They will call you and pretend to be interested in buying your property, then they will trick you into gambling,” warned Somsak Thongglieng, an investigator for Patong Police.
Police in Patong are preparing to transfer Wasan and Tiwalai to other jurisdictions for
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