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Daruma Sushi Owner Flees Thailand Amid Voucher-Fraud Scandal

Daruma Sushi Scam Fraud Vouchers

Slippery as the eel in his sashimi buffet, the owner of Daruma Sushi has slipped out of Thailand, running from fraud charges that his salmon-buffet eateries sold thousands of meal vouchers before closing down.

The Immigration Bureau said Monday that the owner of the 27-location sushi-buffet chain did a Red Bull and skipped town without any interference.

Customers, franchisees, suppliers and lenders all have filed charges against Daruma, principally for selling more than 6,000 extremely cheap e-vouchers for the sushi buffet.

Consumer-protection officials called Daruma’s practice of selling vouchers for 199-499 baht at five to 10 at a time “highly suspicious”

“Offering a sales promotion with a discount from 499 baht to 199 baht to boost sales of the e-voucher which is normally sold five to ten per order is highly suspicious from the beginning. It looks like a scam from the start,” he said.

“It looks like a scam from the start,” said Prateep Charoengulpa, secretary-general of the Office of the Consumer Protection Board.

The use of digital vouchers, instead of paper ones, would also make it easier to destroy evidence, he added.

Police have issued a summons, but that will do little good now.

The Department of Business Development said Daruma Sushi Co. was registered on Jan 12, 2016 with capital of 5 million baht. Metha Chalingsuk is named as the director of the company.