CHIANG MAI — Two Thai men have been arrested for disguising as military officers and promising to grant Royal Thai Army ranks to more than 70 people who paid to participate in their two-month training program.
According to police, Saksith Ngiebchangreet, 30, and Charnvit Traisatit, 25, charged civilians 70,000 baht for the rank of lieutenant, and 100,000 baht for captain.
Pol.Lt.Gen. Thanitsak Teerasawasdi, commander of the Fifth Region Police, said the two suspects dressed up as army captains and carried firearms.
At least 70 people fell for the scheme, police say. Saksith and Charnvit reportedly took the group to a boyscout camp in Nakhon Ratchasima province and made them go through two-months of field training.
"After the training was over, the suspects arranged a date for handing out the ranks to the victims in Chiang Mai province," Pol.Lt.Gen. Thanitsak said. "They claimed that the Governor of Chiang Mai would personally award them the ranks."
However, Saksith and Charnvit reportedly kept postponing the date, eventually arousing suspicion among the victims, who alerted authorities. Police arrested the pair at a hotel in Chiang Mai province.
Pol.Lt.Gen. Thanitsak added that six army uniforms, one handgun, 22 bullets, one military radio, and personal documents of over 60 individuals were found in the hotel room.
Charnvit was charged with fraud, possessing a firearm and ammunition without a permit, carrying firearm into public area without due cause, dressing up in military uniform without permission, and possessing a radio equipment without permit. Saksith is facing charges of fraud and dressing up in military uniform without permission.
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