Thailand Restaurant Owners Get Nearly 1,500 Year Prison Sentence For Seafood Scam

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Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Two executives at a famous seafood restaurant in Thailand were sentenced to 1,446 years in prison Wednesday after being convicted of cheating customers with a fake deal.

Apichart Bowornbancharak and Prapassorn Bowornbancha, the owners of Laemgate Seafood in Bangkok, were accused last year of running an advertisement for a seafood buffet deal and then cancelling the orders after thousands of customers signed up for the deal, according to Fox News.

The company announced the deal last March and required customers to wait for several months in order to receive the buffet vouchers. However, at the end of the month the parent company, Laemgate Infinite, posted on social media that the deal had been cancelled due to insufficient supply.

More than 800 of the customers who ordered buffet tickets filed complaints with the police against the company and the two executives, and only 375 of the people who filed a complaint received compensation.

SONGKHLA, THAILAND - FEBRUARY 1: Fresh fish is ready to be sorted after it was unloaded from a fishing boat at the port in Songkhla on February 1, 2016. Around 100 people have been arrested by authorities in a recent crackdown on abuses involving Thailand's multi-billion dollar seafood industry. The deep-rooted problem caused the huge global brand, Nestle in 2015 to admit that it had discovered clear evidence of slavery at sea in parts of the Thai supply chain. Thailand is the world's third largest exporter of seafood. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/ Getty Images )

Fresh fish is ready to be sorted and delivered after unloaded from a fishing boat in Thailand (Paula Bronstein/ Getty Images )

The two were found guilty on 723 counts and were given a record sentence of 1,446 years. Laemgate Infinite was also slapped with a $116,300 fine. The Thailand Criminal Court, however, offered them a deal that reduced their sentences in half because they confessed to the crime, according to the Bangkok Post.

Despite the fact that the two executives were found to be in violation of the 1979 Consumer Protection Act, the 2007  Computer Crime Act, and the country’s Criminal Code, they are only likely to serve 20 years. Section 91 (2) of the Criminal Code limits the actual jail term to 20 years, which means they will not serve the centuries-long sentence.

Acts of fraud are a common crime in Thailand and the country’s criminal justice system tends to sentence those convicted to unusually long terms despite the fact that the law limits convicts to only 20 years, according to BBC News. (RELATED: US Extradites Fraudulent, Womanizing Monk To Thailand For Prosecution)

In a similar fraud case, a Thai businessman was sentenced to nearly 13,000 years in prison after a court found him guilty of running a pyramid scheme in 2017, Business Insider reported.