Woman arrested after allegedly scamming thousands of Thais -- leaving them stuck at airport

The Star via AsiaOne
12 April 2017

AsiaOne update:

Pasit Arinchayapit was arrested in Ranong this afternoon (April 12) reportedly while waiting to cross the border to Myanmar, according to Matichon news site. She is being taken to Bangkok for questioning.

Original story:

Immigration police have detained the mother and relatives of a suspect who allegedly cheated thousands of people with the promise of cheap trip to Japan during the Songkran Festival, a source said on Wednesday.

Pasit Arinchayapit's mother and four other relatives, all of whom were unidentified, were apprehended at a department store in the southern province of Ranong on Wednesday.

Pasit, who is nicknamed "Shogun", is wanted for allegedly running a scam luring people to pay about Bt10,000 to her company; Wealth Ever for a bogus trip to Japan during the Songkran holiday. The price of the nonexistent tour is considerably lower than that of other companies.

However, when customers showed up at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Tuesday, they were told by airlines that chartered flights had not been booked for the trip. No one from the company came to the airport, leaving thousands of tourists stranded.

The Tourism Ministry and police have provided assistance to the victims.

Pasit's firm is reportedly registered as selling dietary supplements. Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanawarangkul said she could face legal action for operating a tourism business without a permit, which carries penalties of two years in jail, a fine of not more than Bt50,000 or both.