Thai ‘runaway bride’ denies robbing men
BANGKOK Over the course of about two years, a Thai woman convinced at least 11 different men to marry her, police say.
Following Thai tradition, each man gave her a generous dowry, at which point she disappeared, the men have told police.
From each husband, she collected between US$6000 and US$30,000 (NZ$8200 to NZ$41,000) before vanishing, using various excuses, such as she had to return to her family’s home to deal with their fruit business, or her horoscope had advised her that it wasn’t a good time to be married.
So prolific and convincing was the woman that she married four times during August alone, police told Thai media.
Not until a warning about her was posted on Facebook did any of the men go to the authorities.
English-language newspaper The Nation, quoting a lawyer for the men, reported that the method was pretty much the same in each case. The woman would friend the man on Facebook, meet him, have sex with him, marry him, and then take the money and run.
Pirat Puengsuk, 28, claims to have lost a US$30,000 dowry plus a Toyota utility. He told police he quit his job as a transport driver and married the woman after a two-month whirlwind Facebook courtship, thinking he would join her and her parents in the fruit business. She then vanished in his truck.
As it turned out, a warrant for fraud was already out on the woman, stemming from an apparently unrelated incident. Police caught up with her on Friday in Nakhon Pathom Province, known for its fruit orchards. They arrested Jariyaporn Buayai, 32, and a man police described as her real husband.
The woman, according to The Bangkok Post, said she did not intend to cheat the men, of whom she claimed there were only seven. She reportedly said they had voluntarily invested money in the family’s fruit business.
Police want to interrogate her parents, to determine whether they might have had a role in the scams, based on the fact that they showed up for each wedding. Police said the parents were in hiding. Washington Post