On Feb 2, 2021, about a dozen expats living in Pattaya and their Thai wives said they been scam out of millions of baht by a former bank assistant branch manager in Pattaya.
Other media claimed there could be hundreds of other victims.
Some victims alleged they transferred tens of millions of baht from overseas to obtain their retirement visas, or to buy a property and to use as income for their retirement.
Currently, the former bank assistant branch manager is in jail without bail because he is under investigation for the alleged scam.
The expats file complaint with Pattaya police, alleging Chaisit Sapphoenmphull tricked them into investing in fake mutual funds or investing in other financial products with promises of high interest.
While other expats alleged their overseas money were transferred to Thailand to be used for their retirement money, but instead losing millions.
How The Alleged Scam Work
The expats or investors alleged the former bank assistant branch manager would transfer their money from abroad to their account in Thailand and update their bank book.
The expats would receive their bank book with the updated account balance.
Many of the expats see their funds and thought they were doing well with the investment.
Until some of the victims who file their complaint with the Pattaya police realize something was wrong when they went to a different branch to check their account balance.
They found the balance did not match on their bank book.
They also realize their bank book had expired, and other bank documents were not the same.
Allegedly the money was transferred into expired and bogus bankbooks set up by the former bank assistant branch manager.
But by the time the expats and their Thai wives file complaints with the Pattaya police, Chaisit, the former bank assistant branch manager, was arrested two weeks before for allegedly giving outdated passbooks and other documents to customers instead of destroying them as required by standard bank procedures.
The defrauded expats and their Thai wives and other Thai investors were not informed of the arrest by the bank or police.
The former bank assistant branch manager is now being referred to the Anti-Money Laundering Office, as the alleged scam exceeded 100 million baht (over $3 million USD).
Investigators are also investigating if the bank was involved or this is a rogue bank employee.
The bank had pressed charges against its former employee and seeking ways to compensate the victims but have not publicly offered to compensate the victims at the time of this recording.
Mr. Sakda Klairomsai, from the Office of Pattaya Public Prosecutors, he pointed the finger at the bank for their negligence, according to Pattaya Mail
What I Think
How come the other bank staff or manager had no idea why suddenly he had hundreds of customers coming to see him?
And why nobody in the bank knew anything about people coming with tons of cash to see this particular manager?
How can an assistant branch manager working in the bank, during the opening hours, have a secret business that went unnoticed? Apparently, over a year.
This guy was arrested 2 weeks before the victims filed a complaint; why did the bank and police not contact the investors earlier?
Investors or expats were allegedly promised in investing in a 42 % interest per year that’s 3.5 % per month.
When it is about 2% interest at most in the market at the moment if you want it completely secure.
For example, if you invest $1,000 USD or 30,000 baht into this scam with 3.5% interest per month.
You get 1,050 baht per month.
1 year, that’s 12,600 baht.
Real secure investment is about 2% per year, which get you about 600 baht return of investment per year from 30,000 baht.
So, if you were promised to get 1,000% or, in this case, 2000% higher return of interest than typical bank rates.
That should have been a red flag!
To me, this seems to be the classic Ponzi scheme.
He pays the people 3.5% per month with the money he gets to keep everyone happy. More money will come in because he kept his word, and other “greedy” people will start to invest. This can continue for years, and clients can actually get richer, as long as he keeps getting new money in and doesn’t get caught.
“Bernie Madoff” type of thing but in Thailand.
How Safe to Have Money in a Thai Bank Account?
Would I trust my money there?
I have two bank accounts with two different Thai banks.
Both are not the same bank from this story.
And I have no problem with my Thai banks.
I had to close one of my accounts because it was charging me 20 baht each time I withdraw or deposit.
But overall, I’m happy with my Thai bank I have now.
I also use online banking here.
My only complaint with my Thai bank is the saving account I have do not get any interest.
BTW, if you’re transferring money for your retirement requirement or money to live abroad in Thailand or anywhere and don’t want to pay high bank fees, you also get the real exchange rate and don’t have to deal with a bank staff worrying about scams.
I have been using an online banking company for the past 4 years while living abroad, and I saved easily over a thousand dollars or more by now.
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