Shogun assets impounded, actor questioned

Actor Chatmongkol Bampen (centre) shows up at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok on Monday for interrogation. (Photos by Wassayos Ngamkham)

Police impounded cash, vehicles and property worth millions of baht from the pyramid scheme suspect Sin Sae Shogun and questioned an actor to find out if he was involved in the nationwide embezzlement scandal.

Pol Maj Gen Suthin Sapphuang, commander of the Crime Suppression Divison, said on Monday that police seized 3 million baht in bank accounts, some vehicles and a Nonthaburi condominium unit of Pasist Arinchalapis alias Sin Sae Shogun, 31, and people close to her.

Two of the vehicles are a Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 roadster and a Land Rover. They were used by Sin Sae Shogun's group when they arrived in Ranong province bordering Myanmar last Wednesday.

The other two were a Hyundai Starex van and a Toyota Camry found at Sin Sae Shogun's condominium on Rattanathibet Road in Nonthaburi province. The impounded assets were worth nearly 10 million baht. The four vehicles were registered in Bangkok with rare licence plate numbers.

The Anti-Money Laundering Office impounded the assets for examination. They were acquired after the alleged embezzlement had started, Pol Maj Gen Suthin said.

By charging a person with money-laundering, authorities may impound his assets for up to 90 days pending the investigation.

Pol Lt Gen Thitirat Nonghanpitak, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, said Sin Sae Shogun's network had transferred some assets to other persons who would face money-laundering charges.

Besides, police would find out if someone was behind Sin Sae Shogun, he said.

Sin Sae Shogun and eight other suspects were arrested in the southern province of Rayong last Wednesday. About 1,000 people had been stranded at Suvarnabhumi airport on the previous day when the chartered flights that were supposed to take them on a trip to Japan never came. They were sales members of Sin Sae Shogun's company who had been lured into the business by the offers of cheap trips abroad.

The network, known by the company name Wealth Ever, claimed to sell food supplement sets worth 9,000-20,000 baht each and offer free overseas trips as incentives. It also offered commissions to members who recruited new ones.

Police received complaints from about 300 affected members and believed the suspected pyramid scheme caused damage worth tens of millions of baht.

On Monday, police questioned actor Chatmongkol Bampen, 47. Pol Maj Gen Suthin said the actor was among seven people boarding chartered flights with Sin Sae Shogun to many destinations and police would find out whether he was another suspect or victim.

Mr Chatmongkol told reporters at the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok on Monday that he only paid 9,730 baht for the Japan trip and was among the people stranded at Suvarnabhumi airport last Wednesday.

Impounded vehicles

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