As the number of people claiming damages from the UFUN Store's alleged pyramid scheme rose to almost 500, police urged other claimants to file complaints during this long holiday period.
Police are trying to gather clear evidence, particularly documents, to suggest that the case be dealt with as a transnational crime.
As of Wednesday, 449 people had filed complaints claiming damages totalling Bt126 million (S$5 million). Police have managed to seize assets worth a total of Bt727 million from suspects so far.
Assistant national police chief Pol Lt-General Suwira Songmeta said investigations had yielded sufficient evidence for prosecution, and because the alleged public fraud took place in more than one state, this case could be treated as a transnational crime.
Police have approached the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) to ensure all evidence is complete and beyond doubt.
Suwira's comment came after a meeting yesterday with police investigators and Surasak Treeratanatrakul, director-general of the OAG's Bureau of Investigation.
"The UFUN case must be elevated so that we can get hold of transnational criminals. Public prosecutors will be involved until the end, so as to eradicate pyramid-scheme organisations from the ASEAN region," Suwira said.
He said his six-strong team had received information on the case from a police investigation that allegedly found wrongdoings inside and outside Thailand. UFUN stands accused of committing a criminal offence over loans, which is punishable with up to four years' imprisonment.
Clear evidence needed
Suwira quoted prosecutors as saying that the UFUN case would be regarded as a transnational crime if police were able to present to the OAG clear evidence that the company had been involved in similar criminal offences outside the country as well.
If the attorney-general deems it a transnational crime, the punishment will be harsher than under normal law. The attorney-general will be the person setting the interrogation method and there will be more complicated steps in the probe, he explained.
For now, police will gather more documents and interview those claiming damages to confirm whether there were criminal offences outside Thailand, Suwira said, urging affected persons to file complaints with police during the May 1-5 holiday period.
Suwira said his team was also working with agencies such as the Immigration Police and Central Investigation Bureau to find the elusive suspects. He said he expected this case to be completed and submitted to the public prosecutor for an indictment decision early this month.