Cops: Cyberscam Led Man to Kill His Family

Thai police say Sanit Dokmai, now charged with premeditated murder, also tried to take his own life
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 31, 2023 9:02 AM CDT
Cops: Cyberscam Led Man to Kill His Family
Forensic officers and a rescue worker arrive at a house where a woman and her two sons were killed and her husband was found severely injured, in Samut Prakan province in Thailand on Monday.   (AP Photo/Pongsakorn Rodphai)

At least 11 people are suspected to be involved with a loan scam that allegedly drove a man to kill his wife and two young boys before trying to take his own life in their family home, Thai police said Wednesday. Sanit Dokmai has been charged with premeditated murder after police found the bodies of his wife and two sons, who were 9 and 13, with slash wounds Monday inside a house in Samut Prakan province, Bangkok's eastern suburb, said local police chief Rangsan Kamsook. Rangsan said Sanit was conscious Wednesday but in critical condition and unable to speak nor eat due to severe wounds at his throat, per the AP.

Police believe Sanit's motive came from a huge debt the family was in. Police said Sanit was a debt guarantor for his friend in the amount of about $11,400. The friend ran away and left Sanit to pay off the debt, then his wife tried to take out a loan to help and got scammed, said provincial police chief Pallop Araemlah. Rangsan said the investigation of the money trail allowed the police to obtain an arrest warrant on fraud and a violation of the Computer Crime Act for nine Thais and two Cambodians. According to the police, Sanit's wife applied for a loan online and was tricked into transferring money that scammers claimed to be for different processing fees.

Local chief Rangsan said she filed a complaint with police last week saying she lost over $48,000. Thailand has struggled to cope with a recent explosion of cybercrime and scam cases. In 2022, the Thai police said they received more than 200,000 online reports of scams totaling an estimated $855 million or more. A new report from the United Nations said criminal gangs have forced hundreds of thousands of people in Southeast Asia into participating in unlawful online scam operations involving billions of dollars worth of revenues, especially in Myanmar and Cambodia.

story continues below

Laos, the Philippines, and Thailand were also cited among the main countries of destination or transit for victims of false recruitment. In an attempt to tackle the problem, Thailand enacted a new law earlier this year that allows banks to immediately freeze suspicious accounts for 72 hours without requiring victims of scams to submit their police report. Once a victim transfers money to a scammer, that sum usually is quickly transferred to several other accounts, making it extremely difficult for the authorities to track and retrieve it.

(More Thailand stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.