A popular Thai YouTuber allegedly cheated thousands of her followers out of about 2 billion baht through a foreign exchange trading scam.
Known as Nutty to her followers, Natthamon Khongchak attracted more than 847,000 subscribers to a YouTube channel where she posted dance videos. She also advertised private courses for aspiring foreign exchange traders on her Instagram account, posting images of what she said were her profits.
More than 6,000 people gave Ms Natthamon money to invest, the Nation newspaper reported. Followers were lured with promises of returns of as much as 35% on their investments, the report said.
In her last Instagram post, in May, Ms Natthamon said she owed 1 billion baht to investors. In the video, she claimed her broker had blocked her trading account and funds since March, but said she would try to repay the money.
Police last week issued an arrest warrant for fraud against Ms Natthamon, according to the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau.
So far, the bureau has received complaints from 102 people claiming they’d lost a total of 30 million baht, he said. New victims come forward nearly every day, with most claiming to have lost tens of thousands of baht.
While Ms Natthamon has not been seen on social media since June, followers are speculating that she has fled the country, Thai media reported. Still, immigration records show she has not left Thailand.
According to local media, Ms Natthamon came from a wealthy family. Her mother ran a karaoke business in Chiang Mai province. Her home had 14 cars and 22 maids.
Her family later went bankrupt, the reports continued, and she and her mother left for Malaysia to work as foot masseuses. When she turned 13, she met a wealthy man who asked her to marry him. The man promised her that he would not sleep with her until she was old enough, but he broke the promise. Ms Natthamon and her mother then returned to Thailand.
Ms Natthamon then became a dance teacher and a YouTuber and changed her name to Leah, then Suchada.
When she became popular on social media, she turned herself into a "guru" in stocks and went by the name Coach Nutty. Ms Natthamon allegedly cheated viewers by claiming she was able to generate hundreds of thousands of baht through just 16 minutes of trading, and 4 million baht in a single day.