Three Thai suspects were arrested in Bangkok and Phuket for reportedly producing and selling fake Covid-19 test and educational certificates, the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD), and the Health Service Support Department (HSS) reported yesterday, March 16th.
CPPD Commander Anan Nanasombat told the Associated Press that the arrest followed complaints that there was an advertisement of Covid-19 test certificates available via the website https://covid-lab.airsite.co for the general public to be used for job applications or traveling abroad for a price of 890 baht. Only writing one’s full name and date of issue, the certificate would immediately be issued under the name of PCT Laboratory Service Co., Ltd. without having to go to a lab and properly test for the disease.
The police then contacted the PCT company and found that the certificates were not issued by the company and were fake. Company representatives then filed complaints to the officers. The CPPD began a sting operation by contacting the suspect by phone number, pretending to be a customer, which eventually led to the crackdown.
One of the suspects Ploy, 24, was captured at an apartment in Bangkok while Weerapol, 26, was found at an apartment in Kathu District of Phuket. The last suspect, Munee (22), was reportedly on the run after being aware of the hunt but had eventually turned himself in afterward. Their last names were not provided.
According to the investigation, each member of the gang had their own duties. Some were responsible for creating websites and posting advertisements, some were contacting customers, and others were hiring people to open bank accounts for transferring income to avoid police tracking. The group reportedly earned about 300,000 from selling fake certificates.
The investigation also exposed that they were also illegally selling fake educational certificates, from elementary school up to an undergraduate degree, to be used for applying for studies or jobs at 1,500-1,700 baht a piece.
During the interrogation, Ploy denied all charges while Weerapol and Munee allegedly admitted guilt. All of them would be transferred for further investigation and legal proceedings at the CPPD.
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