Nigerian, 13 others arrested for romance scam in Thailand

A 45-year-old Nigerian man, Ezeneche Uzochukwu Jerome, and 13 Thai indigenes have been arrested by the Royal Thai Police for their roles in a romance scam syndicate that defrauded victims of more than 800 million baht.

According to Bangkok Post, following a series of coordinated police operations across seven provinces, the head of the Crime Suppression Division Pol Maj Gen Montree Theskhan, announced on Friday that his division’s team had carried out raids at 14 different sites on Thursday.

According to statements from the victims, the scammers initiated contact through fake profiles of foreign women on social media platforms.

They were told by the scammers that they were American female soldiers serving in Syria. After winning the victims’ trust, they would express a wish to visit the victims in Thailand.

However, before their journeys, they would inform the victim that they sent gifts or some parcels into Bangkok, via the airports.

They would then lure the victims into paying taxes or other necessary fees in advance on their behalf, adding that they would reimburse the victims when they met.

A group of Thai scammers then contacted the victims pretending to be airport authorities and demanded money for the alleged parcel-receiving process.

After getting the amount they wanted, the scammer would disappear and block all the contact channels with the victims.

The police conducted a further investigation until they identified the gang leader, Jerome. Jerome had been previously charged with a love scam in 2018 but managed to re-engage in the illicit operation.