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Thai authorities seize B10m seized from pyramid scheme suspect

Thai authorities seize B10m seized from pyramid scheme suspect

BANGKOK: The Department of Special Investigation has seized assets worth 10 million baht from a key suspect in a gold pyramid scheme in Satun.
A team of DSI officers and local police, led by Piyasiri Wattanawarangkul, director of the DSI Bureau of Special Crime 2, searched the house of Jaruayporn Ieosakul in Muang district district of this southern province.
Mrs Jaruaporn is alleged to have been a key figure in a pyramid scheme that lured people into investing in gold with MB Pegasus (Thailand) and Pegasus Bullion Limited, Thai media reported.
The DSI seized her assets worth 10 milion baht, including land title deeds, gold and other valuables and bank accounts. Some documents related to the pyramid scheme were also seized.
Mr Piyasiri said the DSI had earlier seized assets worth over 20 million baht from another suspect in Songkhla in mid-October and 30 million from a house in Chiang Mai in November. Authorities later expanded the investigation that led to the seizure at Mrs Jaruayporn’s house.
Because Mrs Jaruayporn was a well-known figure in the province, more than 60 people had invested in gold with her, said Mr Piyasiri. In Satun, he said, a total of 67 people had fallen victim to to the pyramid scheme and lost 18 million baht.
Mrs Jaruayporn insisted she had not swindled anyone, saying she too had invested 36 million baht in the gold funds.
The DSI would examine the seized assets before pressing fraud charges against Mrs Jaruayporn, he added.