Monday, December 18, 2017
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THE former chairman of Chulalongkorn University Savings Cooperative – wanted for fraud after allegedly luring people into a lottery “scam” that caused hundreds of millions in damages – surrendered to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) in Bangkok early yesterday morning.

Dr Sawat Saengbangpla, 79, turned himself in to investigators at around 2am, CSD chief Pol Maj-General Suthin Sappuang confirmed. 

Central Investigation Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Thitirat Nonghanpitak will announce details of the case at a press conference today.

‘Confessed to bogus scheme’

A police source said Sawat confessed during six hours of interrogation that the lottery scheme was bogus. 

Investigators will now seek to trace his transactions, retrieve the money and arrest more accomplices. 

The source said Sawat would be taken to court today when they seek approval for an initial period of detention. They will object to him being released on bail on grounds that the ‘scam’ caused Bt540 million in damages to 78 victims and he may tamper with evidence.

Arrest warrants have been extended for suspected money launderers, including Methawat Khonman, 32, who allegedly received Bt40 million to Bt60 million from 2010 until February from Sawat; Pavisaporn Baiket, 28, who allegedly received Bt42 million from Sawat; and Pavisaporn’s friend Jiratchaya Khunyosying, 32. 

Victims complained to police after Sawat suddenly disappeared after failing to pay them dividends from a separate cooperative scheme he allegedly lured them to invest in. 

The people who lost money were told that the scheme, which reportedly ran from 2010, would buy and resell lottery tickets and yield a high return of one per cent a month. 

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