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Sushi chain owner arrested

Police arrested the owner of the Daruma Sushi restaurant chain at Suvarnabhumi airport on Wednesday morning for alleged public fraud in the closure of its outlets and sale of discount vouchers.

Metha Chalingsuk, 42, was detained after arriving on a flight from Taiwan and taken to the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD). Pol Lt Gen Jirabhop Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, was there to question the suspect.

Confirming the arrest, CPPD commander Pol Maj Gen Anant Nanasombat said Mr Metha was charged with public fraud and computer crime.

It was earlier reported that Mr Metha left the country alone for Dubai on June 16.

The franchisor disappeared the day before all 27 branches of Daruma Sushi closed their doors, citing a  need to improve the company’s server.

Daruma Sushi had offered e-vouchers for a salmon buffet at a steeply discounted 199 baht, from 499 baht.

Salmon lovers snapped up the offer, with some buying more than 2,000 e-vouchers and reselling them at a profit.

Police believe as many as 10,000 people were drawn into the alleged scam and that total damage could exceed 100 million baht.

Daruma Sushi employed about 400 Thais and migrant workers.

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