Businessmen throughout Thailand paid millions in communications fees to land government construction projects pitched by the fraud gang which were fake. They were later told that they had been cancelled by powerful forces.
The leader of a fraud gang that duped would-be contractors for government projects throughout Thailand out of millions by presenting themselves as officials with access to powerful national figures in power, was arrested last Friday in Ayutthaya province.
On Friday, at a temple in Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok, Thai police finally caught up with a fraudster who was arrested under a warrant issued by Ratchaburi Court on the 15th of May last year.
50-year-old Rachasak Butpornprasert, however, is also wanted by police for questioning in relation to the disturbing activities of a fraud gang operating throughout Thailand posing as representatives of the government and eliciting bribes from would-be contractors for fake construction and other government projects.
Details given at a briefing by Metropolitan Police
Details of his arrest were made public over the weekend by Police Major General Pakpong Phongpetra, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in Bangkok and his deputy, Major General Ittipol Atchariyapradit.
The arrested fraud suspect also goes by the name of Noppadol Srino and is originally from Lampang province.
Conman arrested within temple precincts on Friday
The conman was taken down by police after they received intelligence that he would be visiting the Wat Pet Thong Temple in Ayutthaya on Friday.
Officers were present at the temple and when they identified an individual that matched the description on the warrant, they arrested him in the car park.
It is understood that Mr Rachasak who operated with a ‘team’ of other gang members, all equipped with fake identity documents and posing as government officials, has received millions of baht from contractors throughout the kingdom.
Contractor in the southern province of Pattani handed over ฿4 million to secure a contract to build a market
The latest victim was a contractor in Pattani province in the South.
Convinced by the fraud gang, this man was taken in by confidential reports of a large government project in his area.
The project was to build a new market and in order to facilitate the award of the lucrative contract, fees for communication services had to be paid to the fraud ring posing as officials.
฿4 million was paid to the group led by Mr Rachasak.
Gang posed as high-level intermediaries with well-known figures at the highest levels of government
Throughout Thailand, the gang made similar engagements and posed as officials with access to well-known names at the highest levels of government.
The suspect openly admitted his role in the enterprise to police when arrested and interrogated. He explained that the gang would share the spoils from each successful exploit.
In this instance, the eager contractor was later told that the project had been postponed or cancelled by a decision by other, equally powerful forces in the government.
Spent the money on women and gambling
The arrested man told police that he had spent the bulk of the money he had made in the racket on gambling and women.
Police have disclosed that Mr Rachasak is also the subject of a range of other arrest warrants in Chonburi, Songkhla and Nakhon Sawan.
He was also arrested by police in Ban Lam Pan Bong in Suphan Buri but later failed to turn up for a court appearance.
Downfall when one victim discovered the truth
The downfall of the fraud ring’s scheme came when one of the victims discovered that the projects being touted were all fake and that the whole thing was a sham.
He then went to the police who unravelled the facts of the matter leading to Friday’s outcome.