A 19-year-old woman who surrendered to Chiang Mai police in connection with a mobile phone sales fraud has apologised to the family of a boy who is believed to have died from a stroke after he found out he’d been cheated.
The woman also accused her boyfriend of masterminding the fraud.
Piyada Thongkhampan, the suspect, turned herself in to police on Tuesday at Chiang Mai provincial station. Police believed Piyada cheated about 500 people, mostly students, by selling non-existent phones online.
Her case captured public attention when it emerged that one of her victims was a 14-year-old boy who died from a haemorrhagic stroke after learning he had been duped.
Yesterday, Piyada, who was being detained at Na Whai police station in Chiang Dao district, was taken to the Juvenile Observation and Protection Centre of Chiang Mai where she will be held after the court approved further detention.
Police said her lawyer had submitted a bail request to the court after police earlier denied her bail.
Piyada is facing charges of fraud, breaching the Computer Act and money laundering.
“I’m sorry that my boyfriend’s family used my identity as a tool to dupe many victims to buy non-existent phones.
“I insist I didn’t get involved with the fraud. My boyfriend’s family put the blame on me,” Piyada told a group of reporters while she was being taken to the juvenile detention centre yesterday.
Piyada also extended her condolences for the death of the boy.
Her lawyer Wichien Inrain said she denied all charges brought against her.
Meanwhile, investigators from the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) seized four iPhones, one of which belonged to Piyada, and 700,000 baht in cash at her house in Chiang Mai.
However, Mr Inrain claimed the 700,000 baht cash which CCIB police found was not the proceeds from fraud but in fact money, her family was preparing to use to bail their daughter.