44th Ufun suspect held

Phakphoom Suk-kon, another high-profile suspect in the Ufun pyramid case, was arrested in Chon Buri’s Pattaya yesterday. Police have charged him with colluding to cheat people out of their money and taking part in transnational crimes.

Assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Suwira Songmeta says Mr Phakphoom is the 44th suspect arrested in connection with the Ufun store scam, in which 120,000 people allegedly have been conned out of more than 20 billion baht.

Officers caught Mr Phakphoom while he was trying to convince locals that Ufun was acting legally and that accusations against the company resulted from a police misunderstanding of its marketing strategy, Pol Lt Gen Suwira said yesterday. Police said they found evidence he had transferred 11 million baht to the account of a Ufun member and said Mr Phakphoom had been advocating for Ufun in a television broadcast.

Mr Phakphoom said he joined the Ufun network in 2014, after borrowing 200,000 baht from friends and relatives to invest in the business. He denied having knowledge of Ufun’s fraudulent activities and apologised to those he unconsciously conned. He was asked by Ufun executives to appear on television to insist on the company’s legality, he told police.