40 Pattaya locals among 100 losing millions ‘investing’ with Facebook scammer

Neungrude Sompong and Wijittra Nilsamai reported to Pattaya police they were part of a group of investors who lost money in an online scam.

About 100 people went to police after sending money to a Facebook user running a fraudulent investment scam.

Neungrude Sompong and Wijittra Nilsamai, both 23, spoke to Pattaya police for the group, alleging that Napaporn Suwanachot, 23, absconded with all the cash invested in her illegal Ing Oil investment scheme.

The scam was yet another online version of a common Thai custom of pooling savings and allowing people to borrow funds when needed. The interest from the loans is supposed to go back into the pool. Very often it goes into the pockets of the organizer. Yet people continue to send money to strangers on Facebook.

Napaporn told victims that if they invested 500 baht they’d get 580 baht in return, or 1,300 baht returned if they put in 1,000 baht. As with any good scam, investors were paid initially, getting them to put more money in. Then Napaporn disappeared.

Napaporn Suwanachot allegedly absconded with all the cash invested in her illegal Ing Oil investment scheme.

Some victims invested as much as 400,000 baht. Total damages are estimated in the millions of baht.

Forty of the victims are in the Pattaya area. Other complaints have been registered at other police stations.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for Napaporn.

Police learned from the women how they thought Napaporn was hiding in Nongprue.

The victims look disconsolate as the police predict there is little chance their money will be returned.