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Dutchman Behind ‘Shopping Mall’ Ponzi Scam Captured At Swampy Trying To Flee The Country

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dutch man arrested shopping mall ponzi scam

A Dutchman who fleeced thousands of Thais for millions of baht in a Ponzi scheme was arrested last week as he tried to flee the country.

Wesley Anton Dirkjan Halbach, 37, was apprehended last Thursday at Suvarnabhumi Airport as he was about to board a KLM flight to his homeland with his Finnish wife and young daughter.

Halbach was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by Phuket Provincial Court following complaints from over 1,000 people they had been swindled out of vast sums of money they had invested in a scheme called ‘Shopping Mall’.

Unknown to the people who signed up, investing anything between 1,000 and 400,000 baht, the Dutch deviant was operating a Ponzi scheme using Line groups called ‘All Star’ that promised high returns for investors using the ‘Shopping Mall’ app.

The scam began in October 2020 and was spread across 40 or so groups each with around 500 members each, mostly from Phuket and on Koh Samui.

All payments were made into 44 accounts at four banks in a neighbouring country. Payouts were made on time every time leading those who “invested” to up the ante and put more money in hoping for higher returns.

However, the scheme all came crashing down earlier this month when all the admins for the ‘Shopping Mall’ app and ‘All Star’ groups disappeared overnight leading many to file police reports.

It is estimated Halbach was about to make off with around 100 million baht from the scheme.

He was taken back south to Phuket where he was remanded in custody pending further legal proceedings.

Stickboy aka Sticky Boy aka Mike McKay aka Mike McKwai, Wild Mike, Magic Mike, Mr Mike, and a fair few more best forgotten, is a party animal with hollow legs who loves music, current affairs, beer, food, causing trouble on Twitter, and making the most of life without worrying too much about what people think or say about his antics. You can send him stuff here - stickboybkk@gmail.com

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The First Batch Of Covid-19 Vaccines Arrived In Thailand Today

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The First Batch Of Covid-19 Vaccines Arrived In Thailand Today

The Prime Minister visited Suvarnabhumi Airport this morning to personally received the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines flown in from China.

The first 200,000 Sinovac doses arrived on Thai Airways flight TG675 from Beijing as Thailand prepares to kick start its national vaccination campaign.

The receiving ceremony was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha, and Yang Xin, Chargé d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy.

In addition to the Sinovac’s vaccine, another 117,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine will also arrive this afternoon.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, the second batch of 800,000 doses of Sinovac’s vaccine will arrive next month and another batch of one million in April.

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JUST IN: BMA Give Green Light For Booze From Today

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BMA Give Green Light For Booze From Today

After what feels like an eternity, the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority has just announced that bars and entertainment venues can reopen and booze is back on the menu at restaurants effective immediately.

The news comes after the BMA Communicable Disease Committee met this afternoon to discuss the relaxing measures that came into effect yesterday from the CCSA that saw Bangkok downgraded to the Orange Controlled Area category.

The news means restaurants can now sell alcohol to customers, nightlife can resume and bars reopen – all with a closing time of 11pm.

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ThailandPlus Tracking App Now Mandatory For All Foreign Tourists

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ThailandPlus App

Foreigners who have been issued with a Certificate Of Entry to Thailand are now required to download the ThailandPlus app prior to their arrival, according to the Government Public Relations Department.

Announced last October, the ThailandPlus tracking application is intended to create confidence among foreign tourists about their health and safety while on holiday together with containing the spread of COVID-19.

ThailandPlus functions like the Mor Chana app using GPS and Bluetooth for track and trace in addition to linking with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to log information including certificate of entry details.

The whereabouts of all tourists with the app installed will be known throughout their stay and allow authorities to immediately alert visitors if they have come into any high-risk situations or environments.

Authorities said the application would not infringe on any users privacy and is intended only to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Thai embassies and consulates overseas will provide visitors with information about how to download and use the ThailandPlus app.

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