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Three Foreigners Charged in Immigration Extortion Scam

Victim Mohammad Yasser Al-Halabi hold wanted posters of Kasal Wakiao, 27, from Syria; Islam Ahmed Ghonemi Seoudi, 32, from Egypt; and a Lebanese man, identified as Daou Bassem

BANGKOK – Metropolitan Police have arrested two Middle Easterners accused by a Syrian national of duping him of 655,000 baht claiming they could secure the release of his son held at the immigration’s detention centre in Suan Plu for overstaying his visa.

The two alleged fraudsters were identified by police as Islam Ahmed, 32, an Egyptian and Kazal Wakaeo, 27, a Syrian. The third suspect, a Labanese named Daou Bassem, is still at large.

Metropolitan police commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Sanit Mahathavorn told a press conference on Thursday in the presence of the victim, Alhalabi Mohamed Yaser, that none of the three suspects were police volunteers as they claimed, but admitted that they used to be interpreters for the Lumpini police and stopped doing so for quite a long time.

He also denied that police were involved with the three suspects in the scam to cheat the Syrian.

Kazal was arrested Wednesday at Sukhumvit Soi 4 while Islam was nabbed at noon today at a parking lot opposite Nasa Vegas building.

The two suspects denied they cheated Yaser, but Pol Lt-Gen Sanit told the media that the scam stemmed from Islam’s jealousy against Yaser’s son, Mohamed Va-el, as both of them fell for the same woman despite the fact that both were married.

Islam then notified Lumpini police, accusing Va-el of involvement in illicit drug. Va-el was nabbed for interrogation but he was found to be clean, but police found he overstayed his visa and charged him in court in June. The Syrian has seen been held in immigration custody ever since, pending deportation to Syria.

Sanit went on saying that the suspectes then approached Yaser, claiming they could help secure his son’s release if he agreed to pay them 655,000 baht. Yaser made four payments to them, totaling 655,000 baht, but his son is still held in detention.

Source: Thai PBS

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