11 July 2024

Businessman Prasit Jaewkok, who is well known for his social service, reported to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police today (Monday), to acknowledge charges of public fraud for allegedly operating Ponzi investment schemes, causing about one billion baht in losses to the investors.

Accompanied by a lawyer and equipped with a thick file of documents, thought to be evidence, Prasit told the media before meeting the police that he is confident in his ability to prove the legitimacy of his business claiming, however, that he had been cheated of more 100 million baht himself.

He admitted that his tourism business had been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and said he had been unfairly linked to political conflict, despite the fact that he has kept his distance from Thai politics.

He also claimed that he is confident that there are many investors who still trust him and his business.

Four people were earlier taken into police custody, after the CSD raided nine venues to look for evidence of alleged fraud, after many investors had lodged complaints against Mr. Prasit and his business. An arrest warrant had been issued against Mr. Prasit by the court.

About 20 investors also reported to the CSD police today, to give statements about the alleged fraud. One of them told Thai PBS that he joined Mr. Prasit’s company in December and was persuaded to invest in his savings cooperatives, offering 15% interest in 39 days.

He claimed that he and his relatives had invested a total of 1.4 million baht in the cooperatives and had received two dividend payments, each amounting to 15% of the investment, 39 days apart, but when he decided to withdraw his invested funds, his request was rejected. Then, in April, he was asked, by the cooperatives, to agree to a compromise deal, under which he would be repaid on monthly basis over 12 months.

The investor added that he has not been contacted by the cooperatives since.

Others claimed that they had been asked to invest in gold futures trading, with an offer of 11.5-15% interest over 39 days.