Police question six board members of WealthEver direct-sales company, possibly linked to a tour scam, amid a heavy media presence at the Crime Suppression Division yesterday.
Police question six board members of WealthEver direct-sales company, possibly linked to a tour scam, amid a heavy media presence at the Crime Suppression Division yesterday.

Board members of firm deny role in Japan travel ‘scam’

national April 16, 2017 01:00

By THE SUNDAY NATION

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SIX members of the board of WealthEver company, which has been accused of running an illegal Ponzi or pyramid scheme, met with police at the Crime Suppression Division yesterday and denied any involvement in the “scam” that left thousands of Japan-bound tourists stranded at Suvarnabhumi Airport last Tuesday.



Police have yet to press any charge against the six directors of the firm, as they are still gathering information, deputy national police chief Pol General Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said yesterday. Police still have not charged WealthEver executive Pasit Ariyalapit with lese majeste, said Srivara. 

The six directors of the firm said they were also victims because they too could not go to Japan as promised by Pasit.

Board member Thanvalai Namkaew, 49, said she was among the first members of the firm, having joined three months ago. She bought food supplements from the firm worth Bt 8,830 and was promised trips to Hong Kong and Japan in February. She said she did not receive any salary but got commissions when new members bought the firm’s products. However, she said Pasit had not forced her to seek new members.

To date, 450 victims have filed complaints with police with initial claims of damages estimated at Bt 50 million. 

The victims were allegedly promised a cheap trip to Japan when they bought food supplement products from the firm.

Police said they would ask the Criminal Court for arrest warrants in order to detain eight more people suspected of involvement in the scam. Suspects in the case are being detained at the Army Infantry Regiment 11 under the all-powerful Article 44 of the interim constitution. 

Meanwhile, WealthEver executive Pasit, 30, known as “Shogun-sensei”, is still being held at the Women’s Correctional Institution in Bangkok after her arrest on Wednesday in Ranong province. She has been accused of fraud. 

Her lawyer Nithisak Meekhuad said he would talk with her on Tuesday about her legal defence and bail. Since all her assets had been seized, they could not be used as guarantee for bail.

Pasit, whose original name was Sahachom Nakharit, changed her first and family names 10 times between 2000 and last September, according to a police source familiar with the investigation. 

Six criminal cases were filed against her, including embezzlement and swindling, over the past five years. Arrest warrants were issued for her in 2012, 2015 and 2016. According to police, WealthEver’s office turned out to be a home address in Nakhon Sawan province, while its registered capital was only Bt2 million.