Chinese trio arrested over huge pyramid schemes

Three chinese suspects have been arrested over a pyramid scheme that reportedly duped people in China and Malaysia out of Bt6 billion (S$235 million) and Bt3 billion respectively.

Police are looking for Thais who may have been victimised in the scheme, which was launched in June. They also seized assets from the three worth Bt240 million in total.

Bangkok police arrested Song Miqui, 37, and Wang Wenfang, 29, at a Pathumwan condominium on Monday and seized cash in various currencies worth nearly Bt1 million in total, five Phuket land sale contracts worth Bt22.3 million, two Phuket land title deeds, Wang's bank account with Bt1.5 million in it, plus the suspects' Thai ID cards.

On the same day in Phuket, police arrested third suspect Geng Lianbao at his home in Muang district and seized Bt5 million in cash in various currencies, nine land title deeds worth Bt200 million, gold ornaments worth Bt2.2 million and three cars, as well as his Thai ID card.

The arrested of the trio stemmed from a tip-off about foreigners allegedly using fake Thai ID cards and spending a lot of cash in Phuket.

The police probe found that the group allegedly used fake ID cards in transactions and set up a company to get "members" for the pyramid scheme. The scheme reportedly duped 100,000 people in China of 1.3 billion yuan or Bt6 billion. Chinese authorities arrested a gang member earlier this year and issued arrest warrants for this three, plus six others.

The group also set up the scheme and allegedly duped over 80,000 people in Malaysia of 300 million ringgits or Bt3 billion.