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Identity theft victim tipped as suspect in romantic scam after 12-hour interrogation

A WOMAN whose stolen identity card was used to open bank accounts for fraudulent purposes has provided “useful information” to police during a 12-hour interrogation session, which lasted until 2am yesterday, Bangkok’s Huai Kwang superintendent Pol Colonel Kampol Ratanapratheep said.

Police were checking information provided by Nicha Kiatthanapaiboon, including the origin of Bt6 million in her bank accounts and why she had applied for new ID cards several times, Kampol said. 
A police source said Nicha’s younger brother had also been questioned separately on Sunday as police tried to verify information related to the case.
However, Deputy Police Spokesman Pol Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen yesterday was still reluctant to say that Nicha, a private company worker, was an innocent victim of a crime pending a Crime Suppression Division (CSD) probe. 
Earlier Nicha had been detained for three days over fraud charges before being released on bail.
Krissana said Nicha was still considered a fraud suspect by Ban Tak police investigators in Tak province in connection to a romantic scam involving a foreign man, who allegedly had duped a Tak woman out of Bt1.3 million. Some of the money involved had been deposited in and then withdrawn from a bank account under Nicha’s name, he added.
Nicha was also a damaged party in regards to a police complaint in which she claimed her ID card had been stolen and misused, and CSD officers were investigating that case, he said.
A suspect in that identify theft, Paveena Singhawibul, 31, was arrested on Sunday and faces three charges of theft, identity theft in order to open bank accounts and forgery, Krissana said, adding that she had also given useful information after another 12-hour interrogation session. 
Paveena reportedly confessed to the crime and claimed that a foreign man identified only as Simon had promised to pay her Bt10,000 for opening the bank accounts, Krissana said. 
Simon had also already been arrested over suspicion of fraud but he had not been charged in relation to the Tak fraud case, he added.
Immigration Police spokesman Pol Maj-General Ittipol Ittisarnronnachai said an African man identified as Simon had been arrested at a bank in the Ratchadapisek area over suspicion of fraud and transferred to Huai Kwang police for further questioning. 
A police source said investigators would later yesterday question a female inmate at a Nakhon Pathom prison, Jerati Saisin, who was accused of giving Nicha’s ID card to Paveena. 
Police also planned to make an announcement on the case during a press conference today.

Published : January 15, 2018