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South Koreans, Mongolians caught up in credit card scam to buy Krabi hotels

PHUKET: Krabi Police have arrested a Thai woman, two South Koreans and two Mongolian nationals for attempting to buy hotels in the tourist-popular Ao Nang area, across Phang Nga Bay from Phuket, with “fake” ATM slips in a bid to prove they had made payments to complete their purchase.

tourism, crime, police,

Eakkapop Thongtub

Saturday 15 April 2017, 04:44PM

The gang of five were arrested on Thursday after bank staff became suspicious of the midnight online transactions totalling B60 million. Photos: Krabi Police
The gang of five were arrested on Thursday after bank staff became suspicious of the midnight online transactions totalling B60 million. Photos: Krabi Police

The gang is believed to have entered into deals to buy several hotels in the area for an amount totalling an estimated B5 billion, said police.

The five were arrested on Thursday (April 13) after a warrant was issued by the Krabi Provincial Court.

Police identified those arrested as Thai national Thanakorn Chevitrungrueng, 44; South Koreans Jonj In Lee, 46, and Myoungseok Cho, 49; and Mongolian nationals Ansagan Amamtai, 36, and Jargalnemekh Tsedendamba, 35.

Ms Thanakorn and Mrs Jargalnemekh denied the charges, but the other three confessed, reported police.

The alarm was raised by Bangkok Bank staff in Krabi province after they became suspicious of 65 credit card transactions totalling B60 million were made between 10pm on Monday (April 10) and 1am Tuesday (April 11).

Bank staff became suspicious the next day when they realised the code presented for each of the transactions remained the same, whereas any online transactions are issued a unique code.

Regardless, Ms Thanakorn and Mrs Jargalnemekh maintained the transaction slips were issued by the bank, noted police.

Lucky 13 Bar and Grill

Bank staff told police that members of the group had previously contacted the bank to buy the Krabi Heritage Hotel for B700 million. Apparently a deal had been reached to but the resort for B300 million – to be paid for by credit card.

In another deal gone south, police said the group had contacted to buy the Pavilion Queen’s Bay resort in Ao Nang for B550 million.

In that attempted swindle, the group had presented slips apparently affirming that B118 million had been paid by the group as a “deposit”.

The slips presented for those alleged transactions were again for the midnight hours – from 10pm on Tuesday (April 11) through to about 2am on Wednesday (April 12) – when the bank would not be able to confirm the transactions until the next working day.

Police claim they have uncovered links establishing that Mrs Thanakorn is allegedly involved in nine other cases where she claims to want to purchase hotels in Krabi and other provinces by the same method.

Krabi Police confirmed they are continuing their investigation into the five’s previous activities.



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Asterix | 16 April 2017 - 22:03:30

Sorry Rorii but I confirm what I wrote in my previous comment.


It is also very important to note that it is illegal under the FBA for both the Thai and foreigner benefiting therefrom, for any Thai to be “nominee” (in other words, in name only and not actual) shareholder.

Section 36 of the FBA states:

Section 36. A Thai national or a juristic person, not being a foreigner under this Act, who assists in or aids and abets or participates in the operation of a foreigner’s business
specified in the Lists annexed hereto where such foreigner is not permitted to operate that
business or who operates the business jointly with a foreigner in the manner holding it out as
the former’s sole business or who acts as a foreigner’s nominee in holding shares in a partnership or a limited company or any juristic person with a view to enabling the foreigner to operate the business in circumvention or violation of the provisions of this Act, or a foreigner who allows such act to be committed by a Thai national or a juristic person that is not a foreigner under this Act, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine of one hundred thousand Baht to one million Baht or to both, and the Court shall order the cessation of the assistance or the aiding and abetting or order the cessation of the joint operation of the business or order the cessation of shareholding or partnership, as the case may be. In the case of violation of the order of the Court, the violator shall be liable to a fine at the daily rate of ten thousand Baht to fifty thousand Baht throughout the period of the violation.

Section 41. In the case where a juristic person commits offences under section 34, section 35, section 36 or section 37, directors, partners or persons with the authority to represent the juristic person, who connive at the commission of such offences or fail to take reasonable action in preventing such offences shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine of one hundred thousand Baht to one million Baht or to both.

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Rorii | 16 April 2017 - 16:06:09

Asterix, I would think, though some would doubt it, that any "foreign" owner would be in business, for their own benefit, so all owners, including yourself, would be "beneficial owners." Now, as for Thai nominees, if these nominees are acting on behalf, and in participate in the running of a business, then there is nothing illegal, I suspect your issue is there is too much competition for you.

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Asterix | 15 April 2017 - 19:23:47

Too many unscrupulous foreigners are coming in Thailand to cheat for taking control of properly registered Thai businesses or to buy Thai properties and/or businesses with the help of Thai nominees working as agents who act for the beneficial foreign owners for signing all official legal documents.
TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand), DBD (Department of Business Development), Tourist Police and many governmental administrations are not very active to crack down on those illegal investors and scammers.

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