A group of Japanese men living in Chiang Mai went to the press earlier today, bringing evidence of a scam which has seen them lose over 40 million baht.
According to the group, Varin Supcha, a Thai woman, 44, from Nonthaburi province along with her younger Japanese boyfriend have been on the run and the group has asked the media to help them find them.
The men say that they were invited to invest in a tour company belonging to this woman who said that she was about to start up a visa company subsidiary. Investors were told that their investments would be used as loans for other Japanese retirees who may not have the required 800,000 baht necessary for a retirement visa. They were promised a return of 10% on their investment. Initially they were repaid some money, said the group’s representative, but soon it dried up.
The group was also told last month that the new company had been given the concession to organise this year’s Yi Peng festival which needed capital before the payment would follow later in the year. The group was promised 30% return on their investment and many invested even more money.
Late last year, however, the returns on their investments began to dry up and soon the woman began evading their calls. When members of the group reached out to one another and realised that they had been scammed they attempted to contact the pair at the office in the city only to find the office closed and the pair fled.
Some of these men are now unable to afford their own 800,000 baht in their bank account to maintain their visa and one 69 year old Japanese man says that he can no longer afford his cancer treatment.
One man said he made 17 transfers of 9.4 million baht and has only received 1.4 million baht in return. Others put in anywhere between hundreds of thousands and millions.
Police have now issued an arrest warrant for the pair and have also asked the media to spread the word.