Students panic as millions flow through bank accounts

Five students who were hired to open several bank accounts in their names, and paid 500 baht for each one, were thrown into a panic when they later learned that millions of baht were being cycled through them every month.

A woman identified only as Chomnapha took her 17-year-old son “Beam” and four friends to report the details to police on Thursday after a bank official visited her at home on Wednesday.

The bank had found that Beam’s account had multiple, unusual daily transactions ranging from 50 baht to 100,000 baht. In May alone, more than 6 million baht was cycled through the account, Thai media reported.

The son told police that a senior student had persuaded him and his friends to open bank accounts, offering 500 baht for each account, in December last year. He and his friends opened a total of 12 accounts.

Police checked all the accounts and estimated around 100 million baht had flowed in and out of them since they were opened.

The senior student was called in for questioning and he finally admitted that a friend of his mother wanted to hire people to open bank accounts for use in settling payments for the underground lottery.

The student said he had no knowledge they were being used for illegal payments until only recently.

Police investigators were following the money trail to get to the bottom of the scheme. They warned people not to open bank accounts for others to use for illegal activities, because they would then become an accomplice to the crime.

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