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Career con artist free after Phuket bust, arrested again

PHUKET: One of the three people arrested for conning a Phuket woman out of more than B3 million in a gambling scam in Phuket earlier this week was released after he paid back “some” of the money, police have confirmed.

crime, police,

Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 14 December 2017, 11:45AM

Yet after his release, the suspect, 55-year-old Yongyut “Chai” Tongkam, returned to his hometown in Nakhon Sri Thammarat only to be taken into custody again – this time on three outstanding warrants for his role in similar scams in Chumphon.

Yongyut was arrested in a raid at a small resort on the old airport road (Route 4031) in Thepkrasattri Subdistrict on Tuesday (Dec 12) after his part in duping a Phuket woman to stump up B3.1 million in a gambling con.

Also arrested in the raid for their roles in carrying out the scam on Tuesday were Sujira Yodying, 55, from Pitsanulok, and Saeree Sangputtong, 49, from Chumphon.

A fourth suspect, named by police as Somchai “Champ/Kwang” Inthawong, 49, evaded arrest and remains at large.

Crime Suppression Division (CSD) Police from Songkhla arrived on the island to lead the raid, accompanied by officers from the Thalang Police. (See story here.)

At the time of their arrests on Tuesday, Sujira was already wanted on seven arrest warrants and Saeree was already wanted on two arrest warrants, confirmed CSD Region 6 Chief Col Sompong Suwannawong.

However, Yongyut was free to go as no warrant was issued for him.

“After we questioned Yongyut, he agreed to pay some money back to Ms A [the ‘victim’ in the scam],” Col Sompong said, but not elaborating on how much money was returned to Ms A.

“Then he was released. Yongyut then went back to his home in Nakhon Sri Thammarat,” he added.

Yongyut’s quick exit served him well, but only for a short while, Col Sompong noted.

“Yesterday morning (Dec 13), Col Chanin Narongnoi, the Chief of the Tha Sae Police in Chumphon, notified CSD Region 6 that he had received reports from victims that Yongyut had defrauded them,” he said.

“The victims said they recognised Yongyut after watching the news, and so the Tha Sae Police requested arrested warrants for Yongyut for three cases of defrauding people.

“Then we [CSD Region 6 police] went to where Yongyut lives in Nakhon Sri Thammarat and arrested him,” Col Sompong added.

“If any victims who remembers suspects’ faces, please report your story to the closest police station to take legal action against them,” Col Sompong urged.



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