An Irish ex-pat and his wife have been arrested in Sattahip after allegedly offering to sell cheap iPhones and iPads online and not sending the products after payments were made. The damage is currently estimated at 500,000 baht, according to Consumer Protection Police familiar with the case.
Colonel Neti Wongkularp from the Consumer Protection Police (CPP) told the associated Thai press, “We have arrested Ms. Kotchawan Nakrod, 36, and Mr. Darragh Patrick O’ Driscoll, 43, an Irish national at a house in Sattahip earlier this week.”
“Both suspects are facing multiple charges of defrauding the public including consumer fraud and entering false computer data.” Colonel Neti stated.
“Seized from them were seven mobile phones, an iPad, 64,000 baht in cash, 109 SIM cards, and multiple ATM cards. The suspects have admitted the charges to the CPP.” Colonel Neti added.
“The case came to the attention of the CPP after multiple victims reported to police that the suspects in question were advertising extremely cheap iPhones and iPads on Facebook Market Place.” Colonel Neti explained.
“The scam worked by the suspects giving gold shop’s bank accounts to victims. The suspects would always demand money in advance of a supposed sale, giving various excuses why they could not accept cash on delivery or meet in person. Ms. Kotchawan would often pose as a supposed employee over the phone, hoping to allay any fears customers had. When victims transferred money, the suspects broke all contact with potential customers and were unable to be reached.” Colonel Neti continued.
“Once the money was transferred to gold shops, the suspects told the stores that the money that was transferred was for gold items they wanted to buy.” Colonel Neti explained.
“The suspects then asked the gold shop to send various gold items to houses chosen as drop points, mostly places that were uninhabited. Victims’ names and suspects’ phone numbers, which were changed often through SIM cards so they could not be traced, were on parcel boxes as the contact details.” Colonel Neti stated.
“The suspects would pick up the parcels at the drop point and then immediately sell the gold merchandise elsewhere, changing their phone number and Facebook account after each successful scam.” Colonel Neti added.
“The suspects kept changing their Facebook accounts and bought gold items from different shops throughout Chonburi. The pair had done this for more than one year with more than 30 victims.” Colonel Neti concluded.
According to the CPP, the total cost of damages is being estimated at 500,000 baht. Ms. Kotchawan had been arrested three times for fraud before, according to the CPP, although they did not immediately comment on what penalties she served. As of press time, the suspects were pending upcoming court dates related to the charges.
A video of the arrest, not from TPN staff but from the Thai press, can be seen here in Thai:
The CPP concluded that if anyone feels they are a victim of the couple, they would like to hear from them and can contact the Samranrat Police Station in Bangkok at 022262136.
SOURCE: MGR Online
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