An elderly woman was arrested at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan province on accusations of procuring a mule bank account for a romance scam gang.
The Thai woman, identified as 70-year-old Ms. Jirisuda Klinsukon, was arrested on an arrest warrant from a criminal court issued on September 30th, 2022, Pol. Maj. Gen. Jirapop Puridet, commander of the Crime Suppression Division, said on Saturday, March 18th.
Jirisuda was charged with collusion in fraud by falsely posing oneself as someone else, and importing false information into the computer system. She was nabbed while trying to board a flight at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan, Maj. Gen. Jirapop said.
Police stated that Jirisuda reportedly procured a mule bank account that was used to transfer the money of an American romance scam victim, Ms. A (alias), between 2016 – 2020. Ms. A fell victim to a romance scam gang that posed themselves as high-profile businessmen. The suspects lured Ms. A into transferring money worth over 42 million baht as transfer fees for expensive gifts that the scammers promised to send to her.
Maj. Gen. Jirapop revealed that Ms. A filed a report with the Homeland Security Investigation: HSI after the scam gang cut off contact with her, while she had never received any gifts.
Ms. A’s money was found to have been transferred to Jirisuda’s bank account before being moved to other accouts, Jirapop stated. He also disclosed that Jirisuda did not have a premanent residence as she frequently moved to Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Chonburi, to evade the police’s radar.
Initially, the arrested woman denied the charges although she reportedly admitted to opening bank accounts for her foreign friends, alleging she did not know her friends would use her bank accounts for criminal purposes.
Maj. Gen. Jirapop stated that 13 out of 21 suspects in this particular criminal network have been arrested. The rest of them escaped to overseas countries.
Thailand recently passed a long-awaited law that will allow authorities to take legal action against those who create mule bank accounts for scammers.
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