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Nine get 10 years for luring students to join unlicensed university

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Nine get 10 years for luring students to join unlicensed university

By KESINEE TANGKHIEO 
THE NATION 

 

2b849462c2126b4e16e8e756337b3d8b.jpeg

File photo: WPU founder Sawat Banthoengsuk

 

THE CRIMINAL Court yesterday sentenced nine defendants, some of whom are PhD holders, to 10 years in prison for luring students to enrol in the unlicensed World Peace University (WPU) and other related offences.

 

The defendants were also ordered to return the money their victims, including actors and prominent society figures, lost to the fraud.

 

WPU, which was headquartered in Chiang Mai, had set up several campuses, including in Nonthaburi and Khon Kaen, without receiving permission from the authorities. 

 

By releasing false information and setting up large facilities, WPU was successful in luring 100 victims in 2012-2013 to enrol in courses that focused on independent learning. 

 

WPU founder Sawat Banthoengsuk holds a doctorate and academic rank of professor. 

 

WPU falsely claimed on its website, www.wpucm.com, its blog wpubkk.blogspot.com and on www.wpu15.com, that it was linked with a university of the same name in the United States. 

 

After studying evidence, the Criminal Court convicted Sawat and his eight accomplices of several counts of public fraud and setting up an illegal higher-educational institute. 

 

The accomplices included professors Supanat Donchan, Raywat Chatreewisit, Nawin Promjisa, Manop Pasitwilaitham and Supachai Kajornsirlpakdee, all of whom are doctorate degree holders. Warangkhanang Paopongsa, a certified professional nurse, is also a defendant because she helped Sawat handle financial affairs. 

 

All nine defendants have so far denied any wrongdoing, and say they will appeal. 

 

Sawat, Supanat, Raywat, Nawin, Manop and Warangkhanang were each released on Bt1 million bail guarantees yesterday. Others remained in custody as of press time yesterday because they could not present a guarantee of Bt1 million in time. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30368304

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-04-25

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The authorities in the cities where these campuses were set up, are obviously not doing their jobs, just stealing wages. This tells me that establishing a business without proper authority is common in this country. 

 

(or as long as someone is paid off then it's no problem)

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Not sure why Trump is walking free after swindling 1000's in Trump University scam.

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2 hours ago, scorecard said:

How can they deny wrong doing.

 

All of these people would be well aware that you cannot set-up a university, enroll students and take their money without the place being registered and approved.

 

Another example of folks who would know there is a 99% chance they will be caught and punished, but they still went ahead and caused problems for the students they cheated ... just amazing. 

 

IMHO, ten years in jail, all assets confiscated, never allowed anywhere near any form of education ever and their personal credentials totally cancelled. 

 

You state that students were caused problems and cheated, what are you referring to there?  This all came to light 5 years ago, and, as I understood it, they did not cheat anyone.  Someone reported one of their degree holders for using what they claimed to be, a fraudulent qualification, but which was determined to actually be an honorary degree. Honorary degrees are not fraudlent, however an attempt to pass one off as an accademic degree would be, and that is what the guy did, he claimed to be a pHD when in reality he was not, and this led to the issuers of his honorary pHD being investigated.  This is the first I have heard about this case since then.

 

WPU deny any wrong doing on the basis that they claim to not be an education institute and not to have issused any accademic degrees and so do not consider themselves bound by Ministry of Education legislation. They consider themselves to be a promoter of world peace and issue honorary degrees to those who contribute greatly to society in fields relating to world peace, they claim that this is their constitutional right according to Section 50.

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

focused on independent learning.

Relax on the couch all day and the certificate will arrive in your mailbox.

  • Haha 1

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23 minutes ago, 300sd said:

The authorities in the cities where these campuses were set up, are obviously not doing their jobs, just stealing wages. This tells me that establishing a business without proper authority is common in this country. 

 

(or as long as someone is paid off then it's no problem)

 

The buisness was registered with the local authorities.

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1 hour ago, Kasane said:

Not sure why Trump is walking free after swindling 1000's in Trump University scam.

 

He is walking free because he settled all the lawsuits for a total of $25 million.

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19 minutes ago, Kieran00001 said:

 

He is walking free because he settled all the lawsuits for a total of $25 million.

Great business model. Scam for billions. Pay wrist slap $25 mil fine.

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2 hours ago, 300sd said:

The authorities in the cities where these campuses were set up, are obviously not doing their jobs, just stealing wages. This tells me that establishing a business without proper authority is common in this country. 

 

(or as long as someone is paid off then it's no problem)

The reality is that setting up a university in Thailand requires numerous serious assessments, presentation and approval of curriculum, even approval of each course, all need to be approved by senior positions at the Thai Ed. ministry.

 

These academics would be well aware of all of the above, they're lack of morals and ethics is just staggering, they deserve serious punishments, they are just thieves.

 

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2 hours ago, Kieran00001 said:

 

You state that students were caused problems and cheated, what are you referring to there?  This all came to light 5 years ago, and, as I understood it, they did not cheat anyone.  Someone reported one of their degree holders for using what they claimed to be, a fraudulent qualification, but which was determined to actually be an honorary degree. Honorary degrees are not fraudlent, however an attempt to pass one off as an accademic degree would be, and that is what the guy did, he claimed to be a pHD when in reality he was not, and this led to the issuers of his honorary pHD being investigated.  This is the first I have heard about this case since then.

 

WPU deny any wrong doing on the basis that they claim to not be an education institute and not to have issused any accademic degrees and so do not consider themselves bound by Ministry of Education legislation. They consider themselves to be a promoter of world peace and issue honorary degrees to those who contribute greatly to society in fields relating to world peace, they claim that this is their constitutional right according to Section 50.

'WPU falsely claimed on its website, www.wpucm.com, its blog wpubkk.blogspot.com and on www.wpu15.com, that it was linked with a university of the same name in the United States'

 

Well, here's just one example of how the students had been caused problems and cheated from a list from the OP. In fact, there are several. 

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3 hours ago, rkidlad said:

'WPU falsely claimed on its website, www.wpucm.com, its blog wpubkk.blogspot.com and on www.wpu15.com, that it was linked with a university of the same name in the United States'

 

Well, here's just one example of how the students had been caused problems and cheated from a list from the OP. In fact, there are several. 

 

They offered honorary degrees to those who had performed good deeds and made clear to them that their honorary degree could not be used as an accademic qualification, in what way did that cause anyone a problem or cheat them?

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Just now, Kieran00001 said:

 

They offered honorary degrees to those who had performed good deeds and made clear to them that their honorary degree could not be used as an accademic qualification, in what way did that cause anyone a problem or cheat them?

I literally just gave you one of many examples from the list on the OP. 

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