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Vaccine scam three scum arrested

Three men have been apprehended for allegedly impersonating doctors to dupe victims into buying non-existent Sinopharm vaccines.

The men were identified as Mr Sitthichok, Mr Jeerawat and Mr Songkhorn.

Police have withheld their last names for now.

They were wanted on warrants issued by Samut Prakan Provincial Court over charges including fraud, spreading false information in the computer system and impersonating others.

Pol Col Mongkol Onkaew, the Bang Kaew police chief, said investigators first arrested Mr Jeerawat, who fled to ordain at a temple in Suphan Buri, and later nabbed Mr Songkhorn in Muang district of Saraburi. Mr Sitthichok was caught on Wednesday in the province’s Kaeng Khoi district.

Mr Sitthichok claimed he was not involved. His friend, Mr Ronnakorn (surname withheld), apprehended over a vaccine scam early this month, used his passbook number to commit the fraud, he said.

The arrests came after a victim, only known as Ms Ae, filed a complaint with Bang Kaew police last Friday.

Pol Col Mongkol said Ms Ae had inquired about vaccinations via a Facebook user named “Sujitra Wongmalee” early last month.

A man who identified himself as Dr Sitthichoke Thaweepradit from Siriraj Hospital called back on June 8 to offer her leftover Sinopharm vaccine that he said the Federation of Thai Industries had ordered from the Chulabhorn Royal Academy.   

The man offered two doses for 1,800 baht. Ms Ae then joined two Line groups named “Vaccine Sinopharm” and “IT system, alternative vaccines” to look into the details, before inviting 34 of her friends to buy the vaccines for a total of 61,200 baht. She transferred the money to a bank account provided by this man.   

Ms Ae was told she would get the jab at Sikarin Hospital in Bang Na district but when she arrived she could not find her name on the vaccine appointment list. She learnt she had been duped and lodged a complaint with police

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