Police in Muang district captured Nguyen Van Manh, 27, Nguyen Ven Huu, 37, and Huynh Ngoc Thanh, 40, with real gold necklaces weighing 14.8 baht, or 224.5 grammes, and fake necklaces.
The arrests came after the owner of the Phetploy Maneephan shop in the district observed the three looking suspicious while trying to sell the items for 200,000 baht, which was 100,000 baht lower from the market price. The owner then contacted the police.
They were captured as they were leaving the shop, which had refused to buy the goods, and were taken to the police station for questioning, said Wetin Panchartree, a Muang district police investigator.
The three, who could speak Thai, admitted they had already sold fake necklaces twice this month to a shop in Nakhon Pathom and another one in Chiang Rai, earning 400,000 baht from both sales with the same tactic.
They showed the two shops real gold necklaces with certificates from Vietnam and then switched to the fake ones when the buyers' attention was diverted. Then they immediately left the stores with cash, according to Pol Maj Wetin.
Surat Thani police contacted the police stations in Muang district in Chiang Rai and Muang district in Nakhon Pathom and found that officers there were preparing to issue arrest warrants after complaints have been filed at both stations.
The suspects face embezzlement charges and a bribery charge was also added after they tried to bribe the investigators to release them with their passports during the interrogation, he added.