CityNews – A Nigerian romance scammer and over ten other suspects have been arrested.
A woman reported to the police recently after allegedly being scammed for 1.4 million baht. She stated that she had been chatting with a man via Facebook messenger who claimed to own a cruise ship sailing from the US to Australia. She was told that the man was sending her goods valued at over 10 million baht but the goods were stuck at the Customs Department. The she received a call from a Thai woman claiming to be an officer from the Customs Department saying that she needed to pay taxes for the goods. First she was asked to send 50,000 baht and then she was repeatedly contacted to pay extra taxes. The total amount she has paid is 1.4 million baht. She reported that the man she was talking to then deleted the Facebook account and she could not reach him again.
Following her report, the Provincial Police Region 5 were able to track down the suspects, though some of them had fled to Malaysia. The man was identified as Ulasi Emmnel, a Nigerian national, 33, who was allegedly the gang leader. There were 17 other suspects arrested in Malaysia on February 7th.
The media are calling this a ‘romance scam’ as the scammer lured the woman into a relationship. The police speculate that the Thai partners would then be used to communicate with the victims. The scammer used fake Facebook accounts to build relationships with the victims via chat messenger.