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Several Thai women who were promised by a service that they would marry rich foreign husbands were instead duped by a scheming couple for over 20 million Thai Baht, or about $573,000.
Local authorities in Bangkok apprehended 23-year-old Nigerian Chinaka Chinedu and his 34-year-old Thai girlfriend Uraporn Kaesawattana on Thursday in the capital’s Nong Khaem district for scamming several Thai women over the course of one year, reported Bangkok Biz News (via Coconuts Bangkok).
The Nigerian-Thai couple reportedly took advantage of their victims’ gullibility by using a variation on the classic “Nigerian prince” scam.
For this elaborate con, hopeful Thai women were convinced into paying a certain “import” fee so that their supposed foreign lover could send them an expensive present worth thousands of dollars.
Chinedu would initially look for prospective targets: women who were seeking a white husband on dating sites. Acting as a rich Caucasian man who wants to marry a Thai woman, he would then introduce himself and form a relationship online.
The girlfriend’s role is to get in touch with the victims and instruct them to pay between 1-1.7 million Thai Baht ($30,000 – $50,000) as fees supposedly to be paid to the Customs Department. After the transaction is done, however, the couple would simply disappear.
According to the authorities, the couple had two Thai female accomplices who are now being hunted by the police.
Interestingly, only Kaesawattana was charged with fraud while Chinedu will be deported after only being charged for overstaying his visa reportedly due to lack of evidence.