By The Nation
Police arrested the six suspects at a hotel in Nong Khai Thursday night and took them to Muang Nong Khai police station for questioning.
The six suspects were identified as Ruethai Arkhomkla, 34, from Bangkok, Chananchida Kuawicharn, 48, from Pathum Thani, Kulpassorn Rojanapongsa, 52, from Nakhon Sawan, Kingthong Saithong, 46, from Ayutthaya, Pichet Kanhasen, 38, from Surat Thani and Surachai Kitbamroong, 70, from Samut Prakan.
The arrest was made after Pitchayanan Saenchan, 23, a staff member of the Chang Thai Exchange (Nong Khai) filed a complaint with the police station at 6pm Wednesday, alleging the six had exchanged 477 fake US$100 notes at her shop inside the Nong Khai Shopping Complex at 11.48 am for Bt1.449 million.
Pitchayanan said the shop realised that the banknotes were fake when she tried to exchange them at a branch of the Kasikorn Bank in Muang district.
Police arrested Ruethai in front of an escalator in the hotel and she led police to the five other suspects who were staying in four rooms.
Police found another 20 fake $100 notes with them.
The suspects claimed that they did not know the US banknotes were fake. They said they pooled their money to buy the banknotes from a Laotian woman and later exchanged at the shop to make a profit.
Worawut Nualsaritkul, the owner of the exchange shop, said the fake banknotes looked real and it was difficult to detect that they were forged and urged money exchange shops to be more careful.
Worawut withdrew the fraud complaint against the six after they returned the money in full but charged them with using fake currency. They were released on bail on their own recognisance after posting Bt200,000 each.