The Department of Special Investigation has summonsed Pattanapon “DJ Man” Minthakhin and his singer-wife Suteewan “Baitoey” Thaweesin to acknowledge three charges in connection with the Forex-3D online Ponzi fraud.
Pol Capt Wisanu Chimtragool, director of the DSI’s Illegal Financial Business Crime Bureau, said Mr Pattanapon, Ms Suteewan and two leading players in the Forex-3D scam were being summonsed to hear counts of colluding in obtaining loans to defraud, public fraud and violating the Computer Crime Act. They were to report to DSI investigators on Sept 15.
He said investigators were confident they had sufficient evidence to substantiate the charges against them, particularly against the celebrity couple.
They were among the 16 people suspected of involvement in the Forex-3D scam. The 12 others had yet to be summonsed. Investigators were still compiling the cases against them, Pol Capt Wisanu said.
Mr Pattanapon, alias DJ Man, formerly known as Pattanapon Kunjara Na Ayudhya, and his singer wife streamed live on Facebook on Aug 20, saying they had never enticed anyone to invest in Forex-3D, and they were not listed as business partners in Forex 3D Co. They said they were ready to cooperate with the DSI.
In 2019, the DSI summonsed the couple to clarify their connection with the owner of Forex-3D, Apiruk Kothi, who is accused of a multi-billion-baht fraud.
Forex-3D claimed to be an online dealer in foreign exchange, with a flashy website, but was unlisted and operated as a Ponzi scheme. Celebrities were paid to promote it.
Prominent lawyer Decha Kittivittayanan, founder of Tanai Khlai Took (Lawyers Relieve Suffering) Facebook page, said on Wednesday that the celebrity couple faced the same charges as popular actress Sawika “Pinky’’ Chaidet. The charges carried heavy penalties and there was slim chance of being released on bail.
Last month, actress Sawika, her mother and her brother were arraigned in court and denied bail on charges of operating the forex Ponzi scheme, which cheated thousands of people out of about 2 billion baht.
Sawika, 36, her mother Sarinya and her elder brother Kitichet were among 19 defendants public prosecutors indicted in the Criminal Court on charges of committing public fraud and computer crime. All were denied bail.
Nitithorn Kaewtor, lawyer for Mr Pattanapon and his singer wife, said the couple were ready to cooperate. They were preparing documents to clarify the transfer of money to executives of Forex-3D, after DSI investigators raised questioned about their roles in the scheme.
Mr Nitthorn said the money might have been the couple’s investment in the initial stage of the scheme. He maintained that his clients were still in the country.