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Krabi Police have arrested a Thai woman, two South Koreans and two Mongolian nationals for attempting to buy hotels in the tourist-popular Ao Nang area, across Phang Nga Bay from Phuket, with “fake” ATM slips in a bid to prove they had made payments to complete their purchase.
The five were arrested on Thursday (April 13) after a warrant was issued by the Krabi Provincial Court.
Police identified those arrested as Thai national Thanakorn Chevitrungrueng, 44; South Koreans Jonj In Lee, 46, and Myoungseok Cho, 49; and Mongolian nationals Ansagan Amamtai, 36, and Jargalnemekh Tsedendamba, 35.
Ms Thanakorn and Mrs Jargalnemekh denied the charges, but the other three confessed, reported police.
The alarm was raised by Bangkok Bank staff in Krabi province after they became suspicious of 65 credit card transactions totalling B60 million were made between 10pm on Monday (April 10) and 1am Tuesday (April 11).
Bank staff became suspicious the next day when they realised the code presented for each of the transactions remained the same, whereas any online transactions are issued a unique code.
Regardless, Ms Thanakorn and Mrs Jargalnemekh maintained the transaction slips were issued by the bank, noted police.
Bank staff told police that members of the group had previously contacted the bank to buy the Krabi Heritage Hotel for B700 million. Apparently a deal had been reached to but the resort for B300 million – to be paid for by credit card.
In another deal gone south, police said the group had contacted to buy the Pavilion Queen’s Bay resort in Ao Nang for B550 million.
In that attempted swindle, the group had presented slips apparently affirming that B118 million had been paid by the group as a “deposit”.
The slips presented for those alleged transactions were again for the midnight hours – from 10pm on Tuesday (April 11) through to about 2am on Wednesday (April 12) – when the bank would not be able to confirm the transactions until the next working day.
Police claim they have uncovered links establishing that Mrs Thanakorn is allegedly involved in nine other cases where she claims to want to purchase hotels in Krabi and other provinces by the same method.
Krabi Police confirmed they are continuing their investigation into the five’s previous activities.