Satang Thongramphan, also known as Aoi, claims that she became close to the bank account holder at a local care facility where he had been receiving treatment for cancer. Police raided her home last Thursday but it was only a second raid on Friday that unearthed the bulk of the funds, in cash, taken from the man’s bank account hidden in the accused woman’s car.
A 46-year-old woman arrested by Thai police in Phitsanulok on Thursday after being found with millions of baht in cash pilfered from the bank account of a recently deceased bank official has denied theft of the money and claims she had developed a close relationship with the 56-year-old man whose smartphone was used to transfer ฿15.7 million ($428,961) from his bank account with Krung Thai Bank to her account in the ten days after the man had passed away.
A 46-year-old Thai woman named by police on Sunday as Ms Satang Thongramphan has been arrested in Phitsanulok in lower northern Thailand after a police raid on her home on Thursday last 1st September and the discovery of gold bullion and cash with a value of nearly ฿15 million ($410,000).
Police told the press that Ms Satang, who had been known to the deceased man, tended to his car and other chores while he was ill, managed to obtain control of the former bank official’s smartphone and was also in possession of the relevant passwords.
Accused used dead man’s smartphone and banking app with a password to transfer ฿15.7 million in funds
With this, the woman managed to transfer ฿15.7 million in funds from the deceased man’s account after he passed away in August to her account using a bank mobile application.
Police investigating the case quickly managed to obtain an arrest warrant for the middle-aged woman as well as a search warrant in respect of her property near the centre of Phitsanulok in a village situated in tambon Wat Chan.
Warrants handed down to police on Wednesday after an investigation identified Ms Satang as the suspect
Police were handed down warrants from the local court on Wednesday the 31st of August after they had identified the key suspect in the case.
This was the culmination of an investigation into the activities of Ms Satang Thongramphan after a report was filed by 31-year-old Patiwat Thaisom whose father, a retired bank manager, passed away on August 9th last after his long battle with cancer.
On Thursday, officers initially found ฿2,329,000 ($63,634) when they arrived at the woman’s house and placed her under arrest.
The police returned on Friday the 2nd of September and managed to locate a further ฿12 million ($327,869) which the culprit had stashed away in her own Mitsubishi model car.
Ms Satang told officers her actions were at the behest of the deceased account holder who she had grown close to while he was in care at a nearby facility
The woman, Ms Satang whose nickname is Aoi, told police that her actions since the death of the former bank manager were at his behest.
She had taken care of and become close to the deceased man while he underwent treatment for stomach cancer at a local care centre.
She admitted to police that she had transferred funds using the man’s smartphone and bank account with Krung Thai Bank to her account with TMB-Thanachart Bank no less than 17 times from August 9th to 19th last which totalled ฿15,790,000.
From August 21st to August 24th, the woman withdrew nearly all the funds from her bank account starting with ฿3 million on August 21st and ฿12,732,654 on August 24th.
After this, she told police she had used nearly ฿300,000 to buy gold bullion while hiding the vast majority of funds in the back of her car.
She said she had left ฿1 million in her account in case she need to pay for the services of a legal practitioner.
Charged by police with theft under the Criminal Code as well as offences under the Computer Crime Act
Police have charged Ms Satang with theft under the Criminal Code and with violating the Computer Crime Act 2007 by gaining unauthorised access to the deceased man’s account.
On Sunday morning, a police briefing on the case was given by Police Lieutenant General Akradej Phimonsri the commander of Police Region 6 as well as Police Colonel Pakpoom Prabsriphum, the Superintendent of Phitsanulok Police Station in the urban centre of the province from where the successful investigation and subsequent recovery of money on behalf of the family was orchestrated.
Police put on display ฿14,329,000 in cash, most of which was discovered hidden in the car of the accused as well as a gold bar weighing 10 baht valued at ฿299,500.
Police also displayed various bank books and six smartphones under the control of Ms Satang when she was detained last week.
About the Author
James Morris is a pename for an international writer based in Bangkok who works on various international news media. He is a sub editor with the Thai Examiner news website since it began in 2015. Son Nguyen is an international writer and news commentator specialising in Thai news and current affairs. He commenced working with the Thai Examiner News Desk in May 2018.