A Nigerian man and a Thai woman have been arrested in Thailand for their alleged involvement in online ‘romance scams’ that saw their victims swindled out of at least B11 million.(N134,474,028.70)
The Nigerian national identified by police as “Mr Abuchi Johnkennedy Onyenecherem”, and Thai woman Ampha ‘Pink’ Phatthap, 26, were arrested at a rented room in Srisoonthorn, Thalang, Phuket on Tuesday, September 28, police said in a statement on Thursday, September 30.
Present for the arrests were officers from the Immigration Bureau and Cherng Talay Police.
Ampha was wanted on an outstanding warrant issued by Chonburi Provincial Court on Monday, September 27.
Officers explained that Ampha had created fake identities online, via Facebook. LINE and other online platforms, and deceived victims by enticing them into a romantic relationship, and then having them send money to pay for living expenses, gifts or to send items back to them by post.
Ampha confessed that over six months she had tricked her victims into sending more than B11mn to a specified account. She was then instructed by a network in Bangkok to transfer the funds to other bank accounts.
Ampha further confessed she was paid for her role in the scams, police said.
Immigration officers said Mr Abuchi had been staying in the country illegally and is being investigated for his possible role in the romance scam, police said.
The duo were taken to Cherng Talay Police Station and charged for the crimes police already have evidence for.