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Woman behind ‘Nuay’ good citizen story denies charges of sharing false information online

A Thai woman who last month claimed on Facebook that a mysterious “good citizen” had returned her expensive wallet via the post and prompting praise from Thai netizens, has denied charges under the Computer Act, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.

Pol Colonel Siriwat Deepor, spokesman and deputy commander of the Technology Crime Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police, said the woman insisted during her meeting with police on Monday afternoon that the story was true. She said she was unaware of details about the “good citizen” whose nickname was “Nuay”, according to the note left by the man in a postbox containing the returned wallet, said Siriwat.

The woman was within her rights to deny the charge, Siriwat said, adding that police were convinced by their probe that her online story was fabricated and so had issued the summons for her to hear the charge of violating the Computer Act’s article 14. She is accused of putting false information on the internet, which is punishable with a maximum five-year imprisonment and/or a maximum Bt100,000 fine, he said.

Siriwat also warned others to be careful while using social media, as inputting false information violated the law.

Thai netizens were full of praise when hearing the woman’s story as publicly shared on Facebook, along with a photo of the alleged man’s hand-written note and the returned wallet.

The note said the man was poor but he was good and so had returned the wallet to the owner, in exchange for Bt200 cash to buy a drink of alcohol and cover the postage fee and his time. The note was signed with the nickname “Nuay” following with a Thai proverb, “Pid Thong Lang Phra” (sticking an adhesive gold leaf onto the back of a Buddha statue or doing good secretly).

More than 100,000 people had shared the story, while many others instead filed complaints with the TCSD to investigate.