Primaya Dietary Supplement Boss Denies TikTok Ponzi Scheme
Police have issued arrest warrants for 11 people in connection with the dietary supplement company Primaya. All eleven, including Pichnaree Tantiwit, CEO of Primaya, have acknowledged the charges brought against them as a result of wildly exaggerated advertisements for investment schemes on TikTok and other social media platforms.
Nonthaburi Provincial Court issued warrants against Ms. Pichnaree, alias May Primaya, and her associates on charges including fraud and dissemination of false information in a computer system.
The warrants were sought in response to a TikTok video posted by Ms Pichnaree’s close aide, Ratchanan “Noomnim” Muangprathet, in which she posted a picture of herself with a luxury car and a caption aimed at convincing people to invest in Primaya’s dietary supplements.
The Primaya CEO claimed that by investing just 6,000 baht, people could earn up to 15 million baht in three months. Ms. Pichnaree later turned herself in to police on Thursday, according to Thailand’s Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau.
They claimed that the interrogations lasted more than eight hours. Ms. Pichnaree formally admitted the charges but denied guilt. She and the four others were initially released on bail with a surety of 100,000 baht each.
On Thursday night, police arrested four more associates, one of whom was Ms. Ratchanan, in the southern region.
According to police, the last two suspects contacted them and stated that they would appear in court yesterday to admit their guilt.
Aside from the alleged false advertising, the dietary supplement products of Primaya appeared to be of poor quality, according to police, who added that this charge would be brought against Ms. Pichnaree in 2021.
According to the Bangkok Post, Consumer Protection Police raided the company in Samut Prakan province in 2021 after a preliminary examination revealed that one of its products contained a prohibited substance.
The Department of Medical Sciences discovered that the product contained sibutramine, an appetite suppressant and weight loss medication used to treat obesity. Dry mouth, headache, insomnia, and constipation are among the side effects, and the long-term effects are unknown.
Police charged Ms. Pichnaree and one of the company’s board members, Sitthan Sansern, with conspiring to distribute sibutramine without permission.
They both denied the charge and falsely claimed that the supplement was manufactured elsewhere.
Meanwhile, singer Sutheewan Taweesin, also known as Baitoey R Siam, told police that she is only a co-partner in a beauty clinic business with Ms. Pichnaree and has nothing to do with her health company Primaya.
Ms. Pichnaree claims she had no intention of committing fraud; however, she admits to being unaware of all relevant laws and regulations and possibly making an error based on ignorance.
“I’m just another worker,” she explained. “I cannot give you all the details but I can assure everyone that there’s never been deception in my work. Throughout my seven years of employment, I have worked hard, done good, and given back to society.”
Despite this, police have classified the incident as a fraudulent advertisement.
Ms. Phitnari’s younger sister, Ms. Maneenuch Thiensawang, was apprehended on the same warrant on Wednesday at Suvarnabhumi airport as she was about to board a flight to South Korea.