The Dutch national, so far named publicly only as “Mr Wesley”, was taken into custody at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok late at night on Feb 11 while trying to leave the country.
“The man, his wife and child were about to flee the country. If they could get out of the country, about B100 million would have gone with them, as they had already transferred it to the banks in a neighbouring country,” said Lt Gen Kanchai Khlaikhleung of the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) in announcing Mr Wesley’s arrest.
Lt Kanchai said police had already confirmed that Mr Wesley, who had been living in Kathu District in Phuket, had transferred the funds into 44 accounts in four banks outside Thailand.
However, a GoFundMe appeal launched by Sanna Kilpinen on Mar 9 has now raised €1,195 to help pay legal fees for Mr Wesley.
The appeal has set €9,000 (about 331,000) as its goal.
“This fundraising is for Wesley who I share custody of my almost 2 years old girl,” Ms Kilpinen said in her appeal.
“I know Wesley for over 5 years and he is one of the kindest people who I know.
“Wesley is at the moment stuck in Thailand and waiting for his court. He is accused in court of acts which he has not done. He is a victim of a big set up.
“He was very naive to trust wrong people and now we are living a nightmare.
“Funds will be used for lawyer costs and bail,” she added.
“If you have ever spent any time inside a Thai prison, you will know how difficult life can be on the inside. There is constant overcrowding, disease, lack of clean food and water, immense heat, lack of access to people outside the prison, occasional violence and death, and other challenges.
“Wesley is a family man and supporting him would mean the world to his family and friends. We have used all our savings already to help him fight for his justice,” Ms Kilpinen noted.
“Please help us by donating and give my lovely daughter her father back,” she concluded.