The police in Thailand have arrested a man who not only pretended to be a cop but also scammed people across the central Thai countryside. Then, Thaiger reported, the fraud would gamble the dirty money away in casinos in Cambodia.
The man presented himself as Pol. Col. Wuttisak Phittakchan-im, 58, claiming to be a police lieutenant. He would go from village to village, armed with an unlikely weapon – photos of cows. The man would claim that he owns the animals in the photos and is looking to sell them for a fair price.
When Wuttisak arrived in a village in the Chang Lek subdistrict, he told village chief Pairat Unha that he sells cows and buffaloes for 250,000 baht (around $7,200). The fraudster went a step further, promising a discount of 1,000 baht for each animal if Pairat bought all of them.
Luckily, Pairat had seen some of the photos in an online chat room for cattle traders and immediately suspected that Wuttisak was lying. The village chief called the police, which quickly arrived at the scene.
The officers were dressed in plain clothes so that Wuttisak wouldn’t suspect them and escape. They spoke with the man and asked him to present his police ID. Instead of providing one, the con artist tried to make an escape. Luckily, he was successfully arrested and detained.
The Uniform Gave the Fraudster Credibility
Although the man had lied about being a policeman, his name was indeed Wuttisak Phittakchan-im, the police understood. They searched his car and found a bunch of police equipment and several fake registration plates.
Unfortunately, chief Pairat was not the first person Wuttisak had tried to scam. Even worse, his previous attempts at scamming people had been more successful.
Amnat Ayupool, a 26-year-old man from the Lop Buri province, told the police that he had given 330,000 baht (around $9,555) to buy a herd of cattle that never arrived. Amnat told officers that the fake uniform made Wuttisak seem trustworthy and reliable.
As it turns out, this is exactly the reason why Wuttisak wore the uniform in the first place. When the police interrogated the con artist, he admitted that it gave him a sense of credibility that made scamming people easier.
Wuttisak also admitted that he used the money he took by deception to gamble in Poipet, Cambodia. He would gamble away all of his money, at which point he would return to central Thailand to scam more people.
Deputy Commander of Pra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Provincial Police, Pol. Col. Teerawut Saengmanee believes that there are many more victims of this scam that the police are yet to hear about.