(CTN News) – Police have apprehended a former monk, Warakorn Kongu-tit, for defrauding people of over 10 million baht through his online religious artifact shop. The illicit gains were used for personal expenses, online gambling, and to support his life on the run. The arrest occurred near a bustling night market in the Phang Khon district of the northeast Sakon Nakhon province. Warakorn’s deceptive practices had caused significant unrest among monks and Buddhists who fell victim to his fraudulent schemes.
Details of the Fraud Scheme:
Warakorn operated various Facebook accounts with names such as Petch Charoen Sangkapan Wholesale/Retail, Petch Charoen Sangkaphan, and Petch Charoen Sangkaphan Partners Limited. Under the guise of selling religious artefacts, he targeted customers, mainly monks and Buddhists from temples across the country. Once they transferred funds for the products, Warakorn would block all contact with the victims, leaving them without the purchased items and causing losses exceeding 10 million baht.
Criminal History and Warrants:
Investigation into Warakorn’s background revealed a history of fraudulent activities, with five outstanding warrants for his arrest in fraud and computer crime-related cases in different provinces, including Phitsanulok, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Roi Et, Chumphon, and Bangkok. His ability to evade capture led him to continue his illicit activities, causing considerable financial damage to numerous victims.
Confession and Background:
During interrogation, Warakorn confessed to being ordained for 11 years during his childhood and adolescence. He pursued higher education and held various positions in publishing houses and media companies before starting the artefact shop, Petch Charoen Sangkapan Limited, in Bangkok. Financial difficulties and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic drove him to commit fraud, falsely promising artefact deliveries and disappearing with victims’ money.
Police Efforts and Caution to the Public:
The arrest was carried out by senior police officers and the PCT 5 team, acting on a Roi Et Provincial Court warrant. Senior police officer Theeradej Thammasuthee urged citizens, Buddhists, and monks to remain vigilant against fraud in society.
The police encouraged reporting of suspicious activities to the ‘Investigate IDMB Metropolitan‘ page, available 24/7. They assured swift action in addressing public grievances and emphasized their commitment to combat fraud and deception in line with the National Police Commissioner’s policies.
The arrest of Warakorn Kongu-tit highlights the importance of being cautious in online transactions and aware of potential scams. Authorities continue to crack down on fraud to protect the public and maintain a safe environment.