Alleged fraudster caught by his three victims


A down-on-his-luck football referee who allegedly bilked three middle-age Thai women out of 12,500 baht drew his own red card when one his alleged victims caught him shopping at Big C.

Police were called to the North Pattaya supermarket Aug. 22 where three women and a security guard were holding Somchai Naamkaew, 39. After quieting the cacophony of angry 40-something females, police hauled Somchai off to the Pattaya Police Station to sort out the ruckus.

Victims point out perpetrator Somchai Naamkaew. Victims point out perpetrator Somchai Naamkaew.

Under questioning from officers, Somchai reportedly confessed that, due to not getting much work refereeing football matches, he devised a plan to scam Aranya Chaibamrung, 47; Niyom Prakobtham, 42; and Nichamon Prommee, 41, by offering them low-interest loans with only a single catch: They had to pre-pay the interest. Thinking they’d just stumbled upon a new low-cost shopping fund, the housewives quickly forked over 2,000 to 5,000 baht each.

Then, however, Somchai disappeared. The three ladies filed a fraud complaint with police and nothing ever came of it – until they went shopping in late August and spotted their would-be financier among the toilet rolls. They were not pleased.

Somchai was charged with fraud and is locked away from the threatening claws of his alleged victims.