Arrest warrants issued in Thailand over medical gloves scam following CNN investigation

In a press conference on Monday, Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau said the arrest warrants were for individuals alleged to have committed public fraud by scamming $2.6 million out of an American investor, Louis Ziskin.

“[A] Thai court has approved arrest warrants for 6 individuals, they are the subjects which are in the interest of CNN’s report,” Police Lt. General Jirabhop Bhuridej said.

Among the people being sought are Luk Fei Yeung Yeung, a Hong Kong national who ran Paddy the Room Trading Company. CNN’s investigation found the company brokered deals with American firms to provide millions of dollars of medical-grade nitrile gloves, but instead sent lower-quality vinyl or latex gloves hand-packed into boxes claiming they were medical grade. Some were even soiled and clearly second-hand.

The Thai Central Investigation Bureau told CNN on Tuesday that Luk Fei had left the country. Paddy the Room did not respond to multiple requests for comment over several months during CNN’s investigation.

American businessman Louis Ziskin responded to the news of the arrest warrants, telling CNN: “It’s a great first step, but without a second, third, and fourth step, it means nothing.”

“For this to benefit the Thai people, the corruption behind this industry of fraud must also be exposed. I am hopeful that the United States, Thai, and Taiwanese governments will take this matter seriously at the highest levels,” he continued.

Ziskin told CNN he has been co-operating with Thai police in their investigations.

Thai police also announced that the CEO of SkyMed, a company that sells medical gloves, Kampee Kampeerayannon, has been released on bail after his arrest earlier this month.

According to Thai police, he faces charges of public fraud and distributing false information by computer and has denied all charges against him.

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Thai Police said they have expanded their investigation into SkyMed by raiding the company’s factory, where Kampee claimed to have machines capable of producing nitrile gloves on a large scale.

Police allege this claim lured investors to transfer large amounts of money to him. No glove-making machines were found by Thai authorities inside the factory during the raid, only empty boxes branded as SkyMed.

Responding to the police findings, Kampee told CNN the factory did not have the 1,000 glove-making machines he had previously claimed “because that enormous amount of money [from investors] didn’t come… But we will continue to carry out our plan by building a super machine.”

Last year, the Thai FDA raided Paddy the Room’s warehouse and found dirty, soiled gloves packaged into SkyMed boxes.

In a recent interview with CNN, prior to his arrest, company CEO Kampee Kampeerayannon denied his company was part of any repackaging operation occurring in the warehouse when it was raided. “The owner of the warehouse, they just wanted to repack our brand and export it,” he said.

Kampeerayannon said if any gloves are exported from Thailand under the SkyMed brand it is, “not under our permission,” he told CNN.

Christin Hakim

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