Tourist police have arrested a Thai man for allegedly deceiving at least 135 Thai tourists to transfer him Bt1.5 million to pay for trips to China which were later cancelled.
Suthathep Rakchart, 38, was arrested under two warrants issued by the Ayutthaya Court on June 26 and Sukhothai Court on June 27 on charges of public defrauding, said Pol Maj-General Surachet Hakpal, deputy commissioner of the Tourist Police Bureau.
Surachet said Suthathep owns the Thank You Holiday Tour Co Ltd, which is the subject of a complaint filed complaint against it by the Office of the Consumer Protection Board for deceiving 135 Thai tourists.
Surachet said Suthathep allegedly advertised on the company’s Thank You Holiday Tour Facebook page that he could organise trips to China at “very special” prices. Victims who allegedly transferred him money later found the trips cancelled and were unable to get their money back.
One of the victims complained to the Wang Noi police station in Ayutthaya that she had paid Bt41,996 to Suthathep for four seats on a four-day-and-three-night tour to China from December 17 to 20. But when her family went to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Suthathep failed to show up to give them their plane tickets.
Surachet said an investigation found that 135 people were deceived into buying 23 group tours and had together paid about Bt1.58 million.
Another victim, Mallika Utthathananon, 29, from Rayong said she bought 13 seats for a trip to China on February 2 and 4. She said she paid Bt129,987 to the firm but was later informed that the trip was cancelled. The firm refused to refund her, claiming it had not yet received a refund from the airline, Mallika complained.
Surachet said Suthathep had claimed that he did not intend to cheat his clients. He told authorities that his company had financial troubles and he was trying to refund their money.