Friday, October 22, 2021

Visa and Investment Scam Busted in Chiang Mai; More than 20 Victims, Mainly Japanese and Singaporean Nationals

Tourist police were involved in the investigation into the scammers — a Thai woman with a Japanese boyfriend.

On April 2nd, 2021, a press conference was held at the Tourist Police Headquarters regarding several cases involving foreigners in Thailand.

The first case involved Ms. Warinthon, aged 44, who was arrested at her condo in Bangkok. Her scam operated in Chiang Mai and involved defrauding Japanese and Singaporean nationals. Ms. Warinthon duped more than 20 people for a total of more than 30 million baht.

The scammer opened a tour company — Locomotion Tour Limited, or LCMT Travel (see link in Sources section) — but was unsuccessful in turning profits. As of March 28th the company was posting on Facebook. She then turned to a visa extension business, which involved retirement visas.

On the Locomotion Tour Limited website, there was a link to “Get a visa”, but currently the link doesn’t lead anywhere.

Ms. Warinthon, along with her Japanese boyfriend who is unnamed in this report, convinced the victims to keep the 800,000 baht needed for the extension with them. Ms. Warinthon is reported to speak Japanese very well.

They claimed that they could offer a 10% return per month on the investment.

As per usual with these sorts of scams, the first period yielded the investment dividend and was paid out to the victims. This built trust with the scheme and resulted in more capital investment from the victims.

After the first payout, nothing else came. The victims were unable to withdraw their money and filed official complaints with the police.

The investigation continues and victims are encouraged to come forward if they were defrauded.

Video of the police press conference:

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My take: This story is just another reminder that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Let’s hope the victims can get their funds back.

Source: https://www.pimthai.co.th/66147, https://www.facebook.com/LCMTTRAVEL/, http://www.locomotion.co.th/about.php

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