Arrest warrant No 26 issued over UFUN scheme

An arrest warrant was issued yesterday for a Samut Prakan resident, Wirawit Jarupattanapaisan, 42, as suspect No 26 in the UFUN's alleged pyramid scheme, an informed source reported.

Consumer Protection Police Division and Samut Prakan's Bang Kaew police searched his Bt10 million (S$400,000) -home in Bang Phli district and his rented condominium unit yesterday afternoon.

Lt-General Suwira Songmetta, assistant national police chief, said Wirawit was believed to have fled the country and moved his assets, including two luxurious cars. Suwira warned that anyone caught in possession of his assets would be sentenced in accordance with the anti-money laundering law.

Meanwhile, comedian Rapipong "Ood Pentor" Theerawitthayakul yesterday shed light on his alleged link to the scheme, after he was seen in a photograph with UFUN executives. He claimed the picture was taken on January 21, when he attended a UFUN seminar at a Bangkok hotel after being invited by an Australian friend.

Rapipong said he didn't join the venture as it seemed too good to be true and he suspected it might be a pyramid scheme. Asked whether he wanted to file a police complaint against UFUN for allegedly using his name to get others to join the scheme, the comedian said he would first talk with his lawyer.

A total of 1,236 people, so far, have filed police complaints for damages worth Bt237 million against UFUN, while police have seized assets worth over Bt800 million from the case's suspects.

Out of the 25 people previously facing arrest warrants, 17 have been taken into custody while eight are still at large. Police are gathering evidence to submit the case to the public prosecutor by early next month.