Authorities in Thailand recently arrested a gang of foreigners allegedly preying on single women with a con known as a “romance scam”.
Nigerian nationals Emeka Celestine Eze, 31, and Oliver Obioroh, 44, were arrested at two separate locations on Wednesday, according to Tourist Police Deputy Commissioner Pol Maj-General Surachet Hakpal. Thai police, which found multiple ATM cards in the suspects’ possession, are currently searching for their accomplices, reports The Nation.
An unnamed victim from the province of Kamphaeng Phet alerted the police of the group’s criminal activity which led to the immediate issuance of arrest warrants from a local court. Based on the victim’s filed complaint, she reportedly transferred 1 million Thai Baht ($31,450) to the gang members after she was courted by a “good-looking foreign man” on Facebook.
Her suitor reportedly proposed marriage and claimed that he mailed her an expensive gift. However, in order to obtain the gift, she needed to send him a large amount of money to cover the exorbitant “excise tax” on the item as he claimed that it had been seized at customs.
Upon investigation, the police discovered that the Facebook account belonged to a Nigerian who used another foreign man’s image as the profile picture to lure Thai women in their scam. More victims have reportedly come forward with similar complaints in Kamphaeng Phet.
Surachet said the arrested suspects are now accused of withdrawing cash from ATMs for the gang, which laundered their dirty money through cover businesses in Bangkok’s Pratunam district.