THE Crime Suppression Division (CSD) will today apply for arrest warrants for eight people who are relatives or close to fraud suspect Pasit "Sinsae Shogun" Ariyalapit.
Pasit, the founder and head of food supplement firm WealthEver, was arrested in Ranong while trying to flee the country last week following a travel scam that left more than 1,000 would-be travellers stranded at Suvarnabhumi Airport. It was later discovered that Pasit had changed her name multiple times in recent years.
Pasit, who claims she is innocent, is being detained at the Central Women's Correctional Institution.
A CSD source said the warrants allege additional public fraud charges against eight people already in custody at the 11th Military Circle. They are Thasdao Samakkasikan, 35; Monthaya Nirandorn (formerly Chanchai Nakrit), 55; Kongsaran Saengprapa, 22; Parnom Palanuson, 40; Nichamon Saengprapa, 64; Parinthorn Honghiran Dakker, 35; Sudarat Aneknuan, 25; and Kowit Chuaysat, 30.
Soldiers would bring them to face further legal action by CSD investigators tomorrow, the source added.
CSD chief Pol Lt-General Sutin Sappuang presided over a meeting yesterday on progress of the probe to ensure every point was covered as instructed by deputy national police chief Pol General Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul.
He said police were looking into Pasit's claim that her operation was financially backed by a woman from Hong Kong, but added that he thought the claim was a lie.
Another source at the CSD said health and beauty radio station host Chutimon Srithep, 57, had met with CSD |investigators on Saturday morning to provide information while adding that she had no knowledge about Pasit's alleged wrongdoing.
She admitted being one of about 500 people who attended a Chao Phraya river cruise put on by WealthEver on March 18, an event that included a lucky draw for fancy prizes such as iPhones and gold ornaments. The source said Pasit had told customers during the event that she would take them to Japan and, if the trip was a success, she would also arrange tours to Taiwan and the Maldives.
Another private company's name was mentioned at the event, so police investigators were contacting executives of that company, the source added.
Another source at the Central Investigation Bureau said CIB chief Pol Lt-General Thitirat Nonghanpitak had signed an order to set up a "war room" to gather police complaints from people affected by the alleged scam and a team of investigators would analyse victims' claims to identify more suspects. As of yesterday, 450 complaints had been lodged against Pasit and her company.
A team of police and Anti-Money Laundering Office agents also will meet on Pasit's case today to try to trace the alleged transactions.