BANGKOK (BERNAMA) - Unaware that he was under watch by the Thailand police, a Singaporean who wanted to make a quick buck threw caution to the wind and sold fake branded watches via a Facebook social media account.
On Wednesday (June 20), Thai policemen caught up with the 28-year-old foreigner, but got more than they bargained for.
Apart from an assortment of fake branded watches, the police also seized a Chinese-made 9mm automatic pistol and 10 rounds of ammunition in the man's possession.
As if that was not enough, the Singaporean was found to have overstayed in Thailand for five years, Tourist Police deputy chief Surachet Hakpal told the media here on Thursday.
He said the Singaporean entered Thailand in 2014 and was supposed to have stayed until August that year.
According to him, the foreigner claimed to have made a monthly profit of between 70,000 baht and 80,000 baht (between S$2,900 and S$3,300) from his illegal trade of fake branded watches.
Major-General Surachet said the suspect was arrested at his rented room in Chatuchak district in possession of 22 counterfeit branded watches, which he had bought from China for 2,000 baht each before reselling them to online customers.
The Singaporean pocketed huge profits after charging his customers between 10,000 baht and 20,000 baht for one fake watch.
The luxury brands borne by the fake watches included Rolex, Omega, IWC and Patek Philippe.
The Singaporean was expected to be charged for breaching copyright laws, overstaying and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition rounds, said Maj-Gen Surachet.
Meanwhile, the Tourist Police deputy chief heading the fight against telecom fraud in Thailand said the authorities had managed to eliminate 90 per cent of the scam in Thailand during seven months of operations.
The successful operation, which had prevented Thais from incurring financial losses amounting to 1 billion baht, also saw countless people rescued from being forced to work with the syndicate, he said.