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Victims turn to police over Phuket Facebook pyramid scheme fraud

PHUKET: Over 30 members of a Facebook ‘Share Group’ went to Phuket City Police Station yesterday to file a complaint against the leader of the group, who is said to be a local curry vendor, as she is alleged to have defrauded the group out of what police believe could amount to several million baht.

crime, police,

Eakkapop Thongtub

Saturday 3 June 2017, 11:21AM

At 8pm yesterday (June 2), the group filed the complaint against Ms Sirikarn Ruprohjeen who is alleged to be behind the “Baan Waywa” Facebook pyramid scheme.

The complaint was filed after Ms Sirikarn closed all her Facebook and Line accounts after allegedly collecting some of the victim’s cash through ‘an intermediate’ as usual on the first day of the month.

Maj Nattaya Supannapong, an investigator of the Phuket City Police questioned the victims to find that there are a total of over 90 people involved in the group, some of whom live in other provinces and some even abroad.

There are over 90 people involved in this scheme and at this stage we believe that between them they have lost several million baht,” said Maj Nattaya.

Because there are many victims, and each were paying different amounts into different schemes, we don’t yet know the exact amount,” Maj Nattaya added.

Ms A, one of the victims and a representative for the victims reporting the complaint, said, “The Tao (leader) set up the page ‘Baan Wewa’ at the beginning of this year and I have been paying money into the scheme since then.

The group was running as usual until this month when she did not transfer the money to the “Luk” (monthly recipient), so I tried to inquire about this via private messages. These messages were ignored and then her Facebook and Line accounts were shutdown.

After realising this I started a Line group to gather information about this ‘Luk Shares’ group and started planning what I could do about it,” she said.

I know that the leader of this group (Ms Sirikar) is the owner of a curry and rice restaurant in Phuket. She does not have a store, she works by delivery only.

She managed to make this group known to many people...some are her customers, and they invited their friends and family to join, and it spread,” Ms A added.

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Ms A went on to explain that Ms Sirikarn had set up various payment schemes: daily, every two days, every ten days, fifteen days and monthly.

I was personally cheated out of about B38,000 in an 8-day period, but in total Ms Sirikarn must have cheated people out of several million baht because there are different payment schemes and most us make payments daily. So there will be a lot of money lost,” Ms A said.

Some of those who pay into these schemes live in Phuket, some are in different provinces, and there are also some members from abroad. Some transfer money and some provided her with their address,” she said.

Some of the victims told police that they had met Ms Sirikarn in person while others said they hadn’t.

Ms Sirikarn sends people to collect money from the homes of those involved in the scheme and some said that even as late as Thursday (June 1) people had been to collect the money as usual,” Ms A added.

I want to remind people to think before sharing. People who use these schemes should make sure they know each other, their history, home, their temperament before putting money into them.

And do not trust people so easily,” she warned.

Pol Maj Nattaya Supannapong added, “We have now interviewed some of those involved in this incident and I will now make appointments to question the remaining victims.

Right now the exact number of victims is unknown, along with the total amount of damage. We need to figure this out before the accused can be charged in accordance with the 253 Share Act.

If we find she has acted as alleged then she will be found guilty,” he said.



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