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South Korean Wanted on Interpol Red Notice for Fraud Arrested in Bangkok

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s Immigration Police have apprehended the alleged leader of a South Korean gang wanted for operating a fake lottery website that swindled people out of 40 billion won (about 1.29 billion baht)after five years on the run.

Lee Sunghwa, 53, a South Korean national, was apprehended in front of the EmQuartier shopping complex on Sukhumvit Road in Wattana district on Monday.

Mr Lee, who fled to Thailand in 2014, was present at a police media conference on Wednesday.

His arrest came after Pol Maj Gen Pananchai Chuenjaitham, investigation chief of the Immigration Bureau, received information from South Korean authorities.

Mr Lee is the alleged leader of a gang that set up a fraudulent website where people thought they could buy foreign lottery tickets. South Korean authorities said 340 people were swindled out of a total of 40 billion won, or about 1.29 billion baht.

The 15 other members of the gang had been caught by South Korean police. Mr Lee had fled to Thailand in 2014 and kept changing his address in Bangkok, Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, chief of the Immigration Bureau, told reporters.

He was named in an Interpol Red Notice, advising he was wanted in South Korea on an arrest warrant.

Police investigators learned he had links with another South Korean fugitive, Aha Jinwoo, 28, who was arrested by immigration police on Dec 22 last year. Mr Aha’s visa has already been revoked.

The two suspects would be returned to South Korea to stand trial, after facing legal action in Thailand for illegal stay, he said.