Friday, November 13, 2009

Skinheads Pose As Monks in Elaborate Con Network

In Courtesy of Thairath

THAILAND – Fake monk gangs are as numerous as mosquitoes, branching networks across the country, they are known for their trickery.

One of the deceptions is to get people to buy magical coins that can grant them first prize in lottery tickets.

When arrested by police, the skinheads in yellow confessed to have used the money for prostitution, home construction, and gambling.

It all came down when a posse of angry people barged into the police station to report on the monk gang. Using a typical con strategy, the gang employed a few decoys to lure people to a bogus monk to buy magical coins granting them the lottery first prize – and the motto was: ‘the more coins you buy, the more chances of winning.’

The victims of this trickery are mostly greedy and superstitious civilians. These monks will usually reside in phony places deep in the forest, pretending to meditate. On the day of the lottery number announcements, however, the monks are nowhere to be seen.

Police managed to arrest most of the gang members involved in the con network. There were around 20 people involved, along with their five vehicles, Suzuki pick-up trucks and two Chevrolets with fake plate numbers. Surat Chantawong, 48-years-old, was the leader and strategist behind the gang. The group went around to many cities across the country, posing as monks and doing the same tricks. Their illegitimate profit margin exceeded 30 million baht.

After being taken into custody, Surat revealed that 6 – 10 members impersonated eminent monks with special powers. The group totally knew it is an act of crime to do what they have done but still did it anyway. “The motivation was still there, everyone was up for it,” Surat said.

Writer: Adrian Tse & Chet Chetchotisak