A Royal Thai Navy conscript arrested for desertion claims he was tricked by a fraudster claiming he could relieve him of military service for a fee.
Seaman Wuthichai Suebsunthorn, 21, was apprehended outside an enlistment camp in Khon Kaen Nov. 8, the day he was supposed to report for transport to the Naval Recruit Training Center in Sattahip.
Wuthichai told navy officials that the day he was drafted in April, a man approached his mother with an offer to relieve him of service for 50,000 baht. She would need to pay 20,000 first, then the balance on reporting day. At that time, he’d be picked up in front of the enlistment camp and driven to a safe location.
Seaman Wuthichai Suebsunthorn, willing to pay to get out of military service, fell for a common scam.
No ride was waiting for Wuthichai Nov. 8. Instead, an undercover military officer appeared and arrested the conscript. Calls to the mobile phone number given to Wuthichai’s mother went unanswered. However, after the arrest, the scam artist refunded the 20,000 baht to the suspect’s mother, telling her not to contract him again.
Naval investigator Capt. Pasworn Leksuntharakorn said the scam was a common one, with at least four victims identified so far.