Sattahip police raid gold-trading on fraud charges

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Sattahip police raid Ausiris Sattahip Gold and Futures Co. unsecured gold-trading firm for allegedly defrauding customers of 800 million baht.

Sattahip police raided an unsecured gold-trading firm that closed in December, defrauding its customers of 800 million baht.

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Police chief Pol. Col. Panya Dumlek and district officials stormed the Sattahip Market head office of Ausiris Sattahip Gold and Futures Co. Jan. 15, confiscating computer hard drives, receipts, financial documents, customer lists and two one-ton safes that could not immediately be opened.

The evidence was packed up and sent to the Central Police Forensic Science Division.

Panya said Ausiris had been operating for a decade with four branches that offered gold for sale at below-market rates with the firm holding the precious metal as investment. When the selling price rose, investors could choose to sell.

But Ausiris sold more gold than it actually held and when profit distribution payments were delayed in mid-December customers began pulling out their gold. The run on the “bank” left Ausiris unable to meet its obligations and the owners closed Dec. 23 with 800 million baht in investments left on its books.

Hundreds of customers file complaints at Sattahip Police Station and the Pattaya Provincial Court issued the search warrant in the newly opened fraud case.