Two restaurant owners in Thailand sentenced to 723 years in prison

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Apichart Bowornbancharak and Prapassorn Bawornban, two restaurant owners in Bangkok,Thailand, have been sentenced to 723 years in prison being accused of defrauding the public with a seafood promotion.

Their restaurant, Laemgate Infinite, sold vouchers to customers that entitled them to use their seafood buffet at an extremely low price, $3. Up to 20,000 people purchased 50 million Thai baht ($2.3 million) worth of vouchers. This produced a long waiting list meant an advance booking of up to several months to receive the meal. They later reneged on the promotions, leading to complaints from hundreds of disgruntled customers. The company – Laemgate Infinite announced its closure, claiming that it couldn’t get hold of enough seafood to meet the demand. “It was impossible to sell such high-quality food as advertised,” prosecutors said. They also added the defendants “didn’t have (the) intention to fulfil the conditions as advertised to the public.”

The Laemgate Infinite restaurant

The restaurant’s owners were arrested in September and have been detained since then. Because Thailand often issues lengthy prison sentences owing to multiple counts, their sentence was reduced from 1,446 years after they confessed to be guilty. But 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.

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