Police have arrested two Chinese, one of whom is the spouse of Thai model Kiki Maxim, and other two Thai nationals for their alleged involvement in romance-investment scams, and have seized assets worth around US$8.6 million for examination.
The arrests and seizures were made on Tuesday at five searched facilities in Bangkok and Samut Prakan, according to Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, chief of the Central Investigation Bureau.
He identified the Chinese suspects as Hongling Ruan, 44, and Zhao Yue, 59. Lawan Thawee-apiradeepoon and Sawiktree Angkabut, the arrested Thais, are both women. They were all accused with public fraud, computer crime, being a member of a multinational criminal organization, and money laundering.
Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop linked the accused to nine other Thai and Chinese suspects apprehended earlier.
They allegedly approached victims they duped into romance and cryptocurrency investment schemes using phony Facebook profiles of gorgeous women.
One of the new suspects, the Chinese man Ruang, is the husband of Jakkreena Chookhaowsri, alias Kiki Maxim, a 28-year-old Thai model who was one of the nine defendants previously arrested with assets worth around one billion baht.
Police Arrest Thai Model “Kiki Maxim”
The Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) took Jakkreena “Kiki Maxim” Chookhaowsri and the other suspects to the Criminal Court on Friday to demand their arrest.
All nine were seized on Wednesday as part of a police investigation on a Chinese scam network engaged in illicit operations such as bitcoin investment fraud, romance fraud, and money laundering.
They were charged with fraud conspiracy, knowingly entering false information into a computer system, transnational crime, money laundering, and other offenses.
All suspects denied any involvement in the Chinese-led fraud network during questioning, according to Pol Col Watcharaphan Siripak, supervisor of the TCSD’s sub-division 1. However, police detectives have enough evidence to charge them.
The officers were looking for five more members of the network who had outstanding arrest warrants for fraud. They are Thai, Chinese, and Myanmar citizens.
Police Seize 12 high end cars
More than 500 police officers and officials from several agencies raided 30 places in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Chon Buri, and Udon Thani on Wednesday morning. They apprehended the nine suspects, two Chinese nationals and seven Thais, including a Maxim model known for displaying bikini-clad women.
Officers seized 16 luxury homes, 12 high-end cars, six million baht in cash, gold jewelry, fancy watches, brand-name bags, computers, bank accounts, and other valuable goods totaling more than one billion baht during the operation.
According to Pol Maj Gen Athip Pongsiwapai, commander of the Technology Crime Suppression Division, the gang used their ill-gotten profits to acquire luxury homes and vehicles, as well as invest in clubs and restaurants.
According to the commander, case police have now impounded assets worth US$37.5 million, including 19 luxury houses, 14 luxury automobiles, and US$175,000 in cash. All of the suspects denied all of the charges.