Police say they are questioning a ‘woman of interest’ in connection with the opening of bank accounts with an ID card that owner Nicha Kiartthanapaiboon said was stolen. They also have detained a Cameroon national known as Simon. (Photos via Royal Thai Police)
A woman has been detained on suspicion of being involved in a call centre gang’s use of stolen ID card to open bank accounts, said a police source.
The woman was approached at her home in the Taling Chan area of Bangkok for questioning late on Saturday night and was identified only as Pawina, 30. Police suspect she used the ID card of Nicha Kiartthanapaiboon, 24, to open bank accounts for the gang.
Ms Nicha, who insists she is an innocent victim, spent three days behind bars after she was detained and denied bail by local police in Tak province although she had reported herself to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD).
According to the source, Ms Pawina admitted using Ms Nicha’s ID card to open five bank accounts for the gang. She complained she was paid 4,000 baht even though the person hiring her to do the illegal job promised to give her 10,000 baht.
According to her, the person who hired her was a foreigner identified only as Simon.
Meanwhile, a source said police have detained an African man, known only as “Simon”, who used an ATM to withdraw money from the accounts opened by Ms Pawina.
Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, confirmed Ms Pawina is in police custody but said she was not being treated as a suspect just yet, as the police do not have sufficient evidence to support a request for an arrest warrant.
Ms Nicha said she appreciates progress being made in the investigation and believes the truth about her being innocent, not a suspect, will become clear before long. In response to reports that she had contacted a group of suspects by phone recently, she said this misunderstanding stems from the fact her stolen ID card was also used to register four new mobile phone numbers in the Bang Yai area.
As for reports she had repeatedly applied for new ID cards, she said he had done so three times, once in 2014 and twice last year, she said, adding she didn’t file a complaint over the lost ID cards.
And in response to doubts reportedly raised over more than 6 million baht of money circulating in her real bank accounts, she said they money belongs to her family. The money had been kept in her accounts since she was 18 years old.
- Earlier report: Police question ‘woman of interest’
- Special report: ID card nightmare reveals world of scams