Two Thai restaurant owners have been sentenced to 723 years in prison after defrauding the public with a seafood promotion.
Two Thai restaurant owners have been sentenced to 723 years in prison after defrauding the public with a seafood promotion.

723 years in jail for Thai restaurant scam

Two restaurant owners in Thailand have been sentenced to 723 years in prison after defrauding the public with a $3 seafood buffet promotion.

Customers were sold vouchers by Laemgate restaurant owners Apichart Bowornbancharak and Prapassorn Bawornban, entitling them to use their buffet at the unbelievably low price.

Up to 20,000 people purchased 50 million Thai baht ($2.3 million) worth of vouchers, Thai PBS reported.

While initially those who bought the vouchers were able to claim their meals at the restaurant, a long waiting list meant an advance booking of up to several months.

Prosecutors said Bowornbancharak and Bawornban were aware their offer could not be fulfilled.

RELATED: Chef furious over cancelled $300 order

RELATED: Bar owner hits out at no-show customer

Up to 20,000 people reportedly purchased the $3 vouchers, Thai PBS said.
Up to 20,000 people reportedly purchased the $3 vouchers, Thai PBS said.

"It was impossible to sell such high-quality food as advertised," they argued in court, adding that the defendants "didn't have (the) intention to fulfil the conditions as advertised to the public".

In March, the company - Laemgate Infinite - announced its closure, claiming that it couldn't get hold of enough seafood to meet the demand, sparking complaints from hundreds of disgruntled customers against the company and its co-owners for fraud.

The pair were arrested on charges including defrauding the public through false messages, and were found guilty on 723 counts on Wednesday and initially each sentenced to 1446 years in prison.

After Bowornbancharak and Bawornban pleaded guilty, their sentences were cut by half to 723 years each.

While it's not uncommon for those found guilty of fraud in Thailand to be sentenced to long terms in prison, Thai law limits jail time for public fraud to 20 years.

Laemgate Infinite was also fined 1.8m baht ($84,761) and the pair and the company was ordered to refund 2.5m baht ($117,712) in damages to the victims.

Originally published as 723 years in jail for Thai restaurant scam



Great Northern to transform Emu Park tourism hub tomorrow

Premium Content Great Northern to transform Emu Park tourism hub tomorrow

The pop-up event, which is open to the public, will include a bar, live music, a...

Weekly rental costs rise as less properties available

Premium Content Weekly rental costs rise as less properties available

CQ has recorded a sharp rise in interest and costs as more people move to the...

Coast woman’s reliance on paper mail bites her

Premium Content Coast woman’s reliance on paper mail bites her

“I had no idea my licence had expired.”