Tawanrat Tippaveth “fainted” from shock when police took her into custody at a gas station in northeast Thailand this morning for her alleged role in massive graft by her daughter, accused scammer “Mama Manee.”
The 47-year-old Udon Thani resident started crying upon seeing an arrest warrant with her name on it and fainted when police tried to put her into their vehicle. Several police officers had to carry Tawanrat, who was transported to an emergency room for a medical check-up.
Before fainting, Tawanrat told police that her daughter, self-proclaimed net idol Wanthanee “Dear” Tippaveth, had asked her to open a bank account for unspecified business transactions. She said that she agreed without knowing what it was for.
“She asked me to open a bank account to do her business, she didn’t tell me what. … I was suspicious about where she got the money, but I can’t talk to her about these things. … I have nothing to do with this,” Tawanrat told reporters through tears.
After making brief comments, Tawanrat suddenly collapsed backward and had to be carried by a few officials to the police truck, surrounded by reporters all the way in true tabloid spectacle.
Doctors looked at Tawanrat and said she her high blood pressure caused her to faint. As of publication time, police had transferred her for further treatment at Udon Thani Hospital.
Wanthanee was arrested Saturday along with her 20-year-old husband Metee Chinpaafter being tracked to a motel in Chonburi province.
The two have been charged with fraud, entering false information online and violating the Computer Crime Act in an alleged scam which promised investors up to a 93% return on their money. They are accused of stealing upward of THB800 million (US$27 million) from about 3,000 people.
The number of those that say they were scammed by Wanthanee has reportedly risen to over 4,000 with damages totaling about THB1.3 billion (about US$43 million.)
At least three additional people have also been arrested in relation to Wanthanee’s crimes while police may issue warrants for more as investigations continue.
Wanthanee, who is either 28 or 30, remains in custody and maintains her innocence.
The scam they are accused of running was presented as the kind of traditional money-pooling system people contribute amounts of money to that pays out to members on a rotating basis. Thais call it share.