Sergeant major accused of duping car owners in down payment scam

Lawyer Ronnarong Kaewphet, centre, accompanies two car owners to file a complaint with Crime Suppression Division police on Wednesday against an army sergeant major for allegedly fleeing with their vehicles in a down payment scam. (Photo by Wassayos Ngamkham)

A sergeant major has been accused of duping car owners into handing him their cars in a down payment scam -- and then fleeing with the vehicles.

Lertsak Boonyuenwitthaya, 46, and another woman who declined to be identified on Wednesday filed a complaint with Pol Capt Pramot Suksripaisarn, deputy investigation chief at the Crime Suppression Division, against an army sergeant major attached to the Inspector General Department for allegedly swindling them out of almost 2 million baht.

Lawyer Ronnarong Kaewphet, who accompanied the complainants, said the soldier -- whose name was withheld -- had approached car owners who placed advertisements to sell their vehicles to accept down payments. After paying the deposits and securing the vehicles, the soldier resold them to other people without paying the remaining amount due the sellers, the lawyer said.

Four car owners living in Bangkok, Chon Buri, Krabi and Nakhon Ratchasima had fallen victim to the soldier, said Mr Ronnapong.

Mr Lertsak said the sergeant major had paid a deposit of 95,000 baht for his pickup truck and promised to pay the remaining amount due in monthly installments. After receiving the keys to the pickup truck, the buyer disappeared, said Mr Lertsak.

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