Third house 'seized' from UFUN suspect

POLICE yesterday searched a third house in Bangkok belonging to a female suspect in UFUN Thailand's alleged pyramid scheme.

Police "seized" the house in Lat Phrao and assets worth Bt12 million (S$475,200) so the Anti-Money Laundering Office can further investigate.

Suspect Namonpan Thara-bundit, a top member of UFUN Thailand who was in custody at the time, was nabbed while trying to leave Thailand via Nong Khai last month.

Previously, police seized Namonpan's house in Soi Ram Inthra 14 and a four-storey business-house in Chaeng Wattana, the latter having been used as UFUN's office.

This third property, a two-storey house on 300 square metres, was brought by Namonpan last December under her auto-parts dealer ex-husband's name, police said, adding that they would not file a charge against the ex-husband but requested he provide information first.

The police found that Namonpan had wired Bt177 million to UFUN and transferred money to other individuals on various occasions.

Police said they would check the details of those transactions.

Assistant national police chief Lt-General Suwira Songmetta said nearly 1,000 alleged UFUN victims had come forward to lodge complaints against the company. Their losses are estimated at Bt200 million in total.

Including yesterday's seizures, police have so far impounded assets worth Bt812 million.

Suwira said the case would be filed with public prosecutors this month, so prosecutors could compile documents and evidence before officially contacting Malaysian authorities.

Malaysian authorities are also looking into an alleged pyramid scheme linked to a company there called UFUN Store.

Police said the evidence suggested UFUN and UFUN Store were linked.

Colonel Angkul Klaikleung, deputy chief of the Consumer Protection Police Division, urged people who received Namonpan's assets - such as two Mercedes and a brand-new Honda sedan - to notify police so they would not be charged.