Two Nigerians, Thai woman arrested in Phuket romance scam

Two Nigerians, Thai woman arrested in Phuket romance scam

Two Nigerians, Thai woman arrested in Phuket romance scam
Two Nigerian men, both overstaying their visas, are arrested along with a Thai woman for their alleged involvement in a romance scam during a police raid on a house in Thalang district, Phuket on Thursday. (Photo: Phuket Tourist Police Office)

PHUKET: Two Nigerian men and a Thai woman were arrested in Thalang district of this resort island province for alleged involvement in a romance scam.

The arrest took place during a raid on a house in the Phatcharee Thalang housing estate on Thursday night, leading to the apprehension of 32-year-old Kanyathanat Thotsatham and the two Nigerian nationals, whose names were not disclosed by police.

The officers also seized 50 sachets of cocaine and a digital balance from the residence.

Ms Kanyathanat was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by Samut Prakan Provincial Court for public fraud and inputting false information into a computer system. The two men were found to have overstayed their visas for 1,401 days and 1,728 days, respectively.

Pol Lt Col Pitthaya Thepmuang, inspector of the Tourist Police Sub-Division 3, said the arresting team discovered that some foreign nationals from South Africa were part of a romance scam gang that operated by creating fake Facebook accounts to dupe people in Thailand into transferring money. 

Police then identified Kanyathanat as working for the gang. She was tasked with withdrawing and transferring money to the bank accounts of a Nigerian gang leader living abroad, according to o Pol Lt Col Pitthaya.

Many people fell victim to the scam gang.

During questioning, the Nigerian men confessed to having been involved in a romance scam gang. They also admitted to selling cocaine to foreign tourists in Phuket to earn extra income.

All suspects were handed over to police at Thalang station for legal action.