Runaway 'billionaire' groom leaves Thai bride with $159,000 wedding debt

A Thai woman is picking up the pieces after her "billionaire" groom ran off soon after their lavish wedding reception in May, leaving her with massive debt.

Local media reported that the 30-year-old woman, only identified as Da, met the 50-year-old man in March and he proposed to her the next day.

He gave his name as Nat and said he was a wealthy CEO who had business dealings in Hong Kong. She worked as a product presenter.

The couple registered the marriage the next month and sent out invitations to a wedding party at a luxury hotel in Buri Ram province.

Only about 10 of the groom's friends attended the reception, and soon afterwards he apparently said he had to leave for Hong Kong.

He refused to pay the bill and a cashier's cheque for the dowry also vanished.

The mother of the bride was quoted in local media as saying the total cost of the wedding came to 3.5 million baht (S$159,000).

A wedding organiser said she was hired for 300,000 baht (US$10,000), according to the Bangkok Post.

PHOTO: Facebook/Ouidoungruethai 

"It was a really grand event," the organiser said in a Facebook post. "Our 20 team members spent three nights and days arranging the party."

The bride's family only met the groom once before the reception, at a relative's funeral. He reportedly told them he was an adviser to former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and gave the impression that he was wealthy.

He told the owner of the hotel where the reception was held that he ran charter flights between Thailand and Hong Kong.

The hotel said the bride could settle the bill in instalments, but the wedding planner is suing her over the unpaid invoice.

The jilted bride is also seeking legal assistance, and is reportedly filing for divorce.

This article was first published on South China Morning Post