A 32-year-old Nigerian man is in police custody in connection with a “romance scam”, after it was claimed he conned a Thai lady out of 100,000 baht.
Tourist police are also searching for other members of a gang, who are said to be involved in the swindle.
Pol Maj-General Surachet Hakparn, Deputy Commissioner to the Tourist Police Bureau said Emery Henry Ogba, was a member of a gang believed to have a monthly income of over one million baht from illicit operations.
An arrest warrant was issued for Ogba by the court on March 29th, with charges of fraud and overstaying his visa being listed. He was detained at a department store in Nonthaburi, which is north west of Bangkok. During his capture, police gathered substantial evidence including ATM cards, bank books, four mobile phones and around 43,000 baht in cash.
He was also found to be in possession of three fake passports, two of which were from Northern Ireland and one of US origin.
It is thought that a Thai woman is being sought in connection with this latest romance scam.
In February, a Thai woman claims to have been targetted by a man known as Mark Westwood, a rich US citizen, via Facebook. He used a fake photo on his account, to mislead the 41-year-old woman.
After gaining her confidence over a couple of months, he said he wanted to send her a large amount of cash but required her to send money to him to pay the tax on a few other items that were being sent to her. Shortly afterwards, a Thai lady, pretending to be from an official government body, called her to back up Westwood’s story, requesting she transferred the money as soon as possible.
She did so twice, sending close to 100,000 baht. However during a third call, she heard a baby crying in the background and became suspicious. She immediately contacted the police.
As investigations began and it was soon clear that this was a scam and she was not the only victim. The Nigerian trickster had been using a range of aliases including Thomas Anderson, Mike Dave, Bob Frank, Ivan Stogan, Luca Perozi and Chris Benson.
He told his victims he was a millionaire, gained their confidence via social media, before putting the con into action.
So far, police are aware of at four other victims of the con artists.
It is claimed that Ogba was an illegal immigrant, who gained access to Thailand from Malaysia, living here for eight years.
Investigations are continuing into the fraud.
Source : Thenation
Content : LovePattayaThailand