Four members of a “Nigerian scam” gang have been arrested by the immigration police for allegedly duping several victims of over ten million baht in Thailand.
The alleged scammers were identified as Anthony Chicha, a 27-year old Zambian; Mohammed Mansana, a 33-year old Sierra Leonean, 32-year old Victor Uzoho Ndubuisi and 26-year old David Uzoho Reginald, both Nigerians.
Pol Gen Chalermkiat Srivorakhan, the deputy national police chief, said Sunday that the arrest of the “Nigerian scam” gang followed complaints from several victims that they were cheated from the gang members who claimed to be a US army officer, a western doctor and a pilot.
He said that these alleged scammers used the profiles of good-looking and wealthy men in their Facebook accounts to attract and convince their potential victims who would eventually be lured to transfer money to their accounts for non-existent charity or business deal.
Pol Lt-Gen Natthatorn Prohsunthorn, commissioner of Immigration Bureau, said that investigation and information gleaned from some of the victims led the police to track down a group of Africans living at a condominium in Nonthaburi.
Then the police monitored their movements until they finally made the arrest and seized their laptops as well as smart phones from the condominium.
One victim was a school director and another was a school deputy directors whose names were not disclosed.
According to Pol Lt-Gen Natthatorn, one of the victims said he was approached via Facebook by a netizen who claimed to be an American female army officer several months and they had been chatting ever since because he thought it would be a good opportunity to improve his English writing skill.
But after a while, the imposter claimed that he and other American soldiers in the Middle East had retrieved a large amount of US government’s money from rebels and decided to split the spoils among themselves instead of returning them to Washington.
A part of the spoils, about one million US dollars, was to be donated for students in Thailand and the money would be sent to Thailand via a transport company to be picked up by the victim.
One day, a man who claimed to be an official of the transport company called the victim to pick up the cash but on the condition that he must pay some fees first. The victim agreed to wire money from his bank account to settle the fees to the imposter’s account on several occasions until he realized that he was duped and informed the immigration police.
The immigration chief said that the press conference of the arrest of the four alleged scammers was intended to warn netizens to be aware of the danger of these cheaters while surfing in cyber space so that they will not fall prey to their tricks.