CHIANGRAI TIMES – Rubber farmers in Chiang Rai and Phayao have been warned about a gang that has set up a hoax tree-growing project and deceived people into paying them money.
Pichaya Yangyuen, of Chiang Rai’s Forest Management Bureau No 2, said on Sunday that reports had been received of the gang operating in the name of the Royal Forest Department in the Thoeng area of Chiang Rai province and districts of Chiang Kham, Pong and Phu Sang in Phayao.
The farmers were told the department had initiated a rubber tree-planting scheme to reduce global warming and the agency would pay each rubber-growing family 100,000 baht in assistance money to plant as many as 1,500 rubber trees. It was not clear where the farmers were asked to grow the rubber seedlings.
The victims were asked to hand over 500 baht to open a bank account and then deposit 30,000 baht into it to cover what the gang claimed to be ‘’operating costs’’.
Several farmers discovered the hoax when they did not receive the 100,000 baht from the Royal Forest Department. The gang disappeared with the money in their accounts, Mr Pichaya said.