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Nigerian love scammers caught

By TERRY FREDRICKSON, Bangkok Post - 17-11-03a
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0Tourist Police Bureau chief Suthipong Wongpin
Last month, Tourist Police Bureau chief Suthipong Wongpin explained the 'romance scam' of Nigerian con men. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Immigration Bureau has nabbed four Nigerian nationals in Bangkok, who were allegedly running a so-called romance scam.

According to bureau acting commissioner Suthipong Wongpin, the men used social media and chat rooms to trick unsuspecting women into wiring money to them.

Pol Lt Gen Suthipong said the suspects had opened Facebook pages using false identities. They posed as rich Europeans when contacting and befriending female Facebook users.

If the women agreed to chat, the suspects would make romantic overtures and tell victims they had expensive gifts for them. They would later tell victims that the gifts had been posted to them but were being impounded by the Customs Department because they were subject to customs duty, Pol Lt Gen Suthipong said.

The men told the women that since they were abroad they could not pay the duty so asked the victims to pay the fee for them, Pol Lt Gen Suthipong said.

A Thai woman would then call the victims, pretending to be a customs official, giving victims bank account numbers to where the money could be wired, the acting commissioner said.

Pol Lt Gen Suthipong said the four Nigerians entered Thailand on tourist visas and had remained in the country for three to eight years.

All four had married Thai women and used the women to open bank accounts and contact victims, the acting commissioner said, adding that police are also looking into whether other Thais were involved in the scam.

Police have charged the four Nigerians with overstaying their visas.

Tags: Nigerian, love scam, romance scam, social media, chat rooms,

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