Thai police have arrested Pasit Arinchayapit who allegedly scammed thousands of tourists by promising a trip to Japan for the Songkran Festival and left them stranded at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Thailand.
Police also detained Pasit’s mother and relatives, all of whom were unidentified, at a department store in the southern province of Ranong on Wednesday, according to AsiaOne.
Pasit, who also goes by the nickname “Shogun”, and her family colluded to run a fraudulent scheme that lured people in to fork over THB 10,000 (about $290) to her company, Wealth Ever, which is reportedly registered as a dietary supplement company. Unsuspecting travelers gave Pasit the money thinking it was a discount airfare price for a trip to Japan for the Songkran holiday.
But when customers arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok’s international airport, on Tuesday, they were told that no chartered flights had been booked for the bogus trip.
Pasit and her relatives were nowhere to be seen at the airport, leaving about 2,000 tourists stranded.
Police, along with Thailand’s Tourism Ministry, offered to help out the victims.
Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanawarangkul said Pasit could face a fraud charge as well as running a tourism business without a permit, which carries penalties of two-year jail terms, a fine of at least THB 50,000 ($1,453), or both.
Crime Suppression Division commissioner Thitirach Nonghanphitak told the Bangkok Post that his team is set to ask the Anti-Money Laundering Officer to confiscate her assets and sell them to reimburse the tourists.