Pattaya fraud victims ignored by bank and prosecutors 9 months on

Fraud victims Thai and foreigners together with their attorney met with newly appointed Pattaya police chief Pol.Col. Kullachart Kullachai demanding to know why the case hasn’t been pursued.

It’s been nine months since dozens of Pattaya residents lost 100 million baht in a scam perpetrated by a former Kasikorn Bank manager and nothing has been done to recover their funds.

The fraud made big headlines in February when 30 people filed complaints that former Kasikorn assistant manager Chaisit Sappermphool used outdated bank books and documents to steal funds transferred by expats from overseas and duped both foreigners and Thais into investing in bogus mutual funds over the past year.

Victims met with the Public Prosecutor’s Office on Feb. 16 where they were told Chaisit was being prosecuted for destroying bank property and that the case was being referred to the Anti-Money Laundering Office.

Nine months ago, prosecutor Sakda Klairomsai promised that authorities will prosecute the case quickly and that any assets purchased with the embezzled funds would be seized so victims might get some of their money back.

None of that has happened.
In a Dec. 9 meeting with Pattaya newly appointed police chief Pol.Col. Kullachart Kullachai, 20 victims and their attorney demanded to know why the case hasn’t been pursued.

Pol.Col. Kullachart Kullachai said that he was unfamiliar with their case but promised to review the case file to learn who was affected and that he would set up an investigative task force to get the case back on track.

In the past nine months, the victims said they had repeatedly contacted Kasikornbank, only to be blown off, with no response. When they tried to have the bank appear before police, no one showed up.

When the victims went to the bank, they said staff simply took copies of their passbooks as evidence.

Kullachart apologized to the victims, explaining he was unfamiliar with their case as he was just transferred recently from Bo Thong Police Station. He promised to review the case file to learn who was affected, how much each person lost and what evidence was collected.

The police chief said then he’d set up an investigative task force to get the case back on track.

Lastly, he’d contact Kasikorn Bank to find out why they had not taken responsibility for the fraud and provided such poor customer service.

In February, Kasikorn Bank disavowed the former assistant manager and never publicly offered to compensate the victims. Prosecutor Sakda, however, squarely pointed the finger at the bank, saying the fraud was a direct result of Kasikorn Bank’s negligence.