MAN TRACKS DOWN CREDIT CARD THIEVES & ALERTS POLICE
A THAI couple are behind bars after allegedly using a Gold Coast man’s stolen Visa debit card details to book a luxury Christmas holiday in Broadbeach.
The pair were arrested on Christmas night after police raided the beachfront Peppers Broadbeach hotel and netted a stash of fake credit cards and forged documents.
Kriangsak Khieopan and female partner Phuntida Boonpum faced the Southport Magistrates Court on Boxing Day accused of forgery, fraud and dealing with stolen IDs.
Magistrate Brian Kilmartin refused the couple bail and voiced fears they could flee the country.
“The allegations are this was a detailed, calculated effort in fraudulently taking the identity of another,” he said.
“(They) could easily flee the country and seek help at the Thai consulate.”
Police have revealed the arrests came with the help of the outraged Gold Coast owner of the debit card.
Prosecutor Sergeant Chris Lynch told the court the man first learned his bank account had been emptied after receiving a courtesy call from his bank on Christmas Day.
The man immediately turned detective and tracked the latest credit card transactions to Broadbeach hotel who confirmed his card details had been used to book two apartments for seven people over the Christmas break.
He reported his findings to police who mounted a raid at 6.45pm that night.
One apartment was empty but inside another they found Mr Khieopan and Mrs Boonpum lounging on the couch waiting for a dinner delivery from an Indian restaurant – also paid for with the stolen card.
Police located a collection of credit cards, alleged forged documents, a passport and a Medicare card hidden in a handbag in the hotel bedroom.
They also found a miniature liquor bottle suspected of being used to smoke ice.
The couple were arrested and Mr Khieopan was charged with an additional offence of giving a fake name to police.
Duty solicitor Sam Jackson said his clients were not Australian citizens but had been living in Sydney with Mr Khieopan working as a stonemason and Mrs Boonpum in full-time English studies.
He argued the case was not strong and police had yet to prove the couple were principal offenders as there were reportedly five others who had checked out before the raids.
“It’s hard to say who was responsible for the credit cards,” he said. “The accommodation was booked for seven people and (Khieopan) says he was asked to book it on behalf of someone else.”
Both were refused bail and will return to court on February 6.