CHIANG MAI – Immigration police in Bangkok have arrested a 32 year-old Cameroonian football player for his involvement in an online email scam that duped people out of millions of baht.
Etoundie Pie Claude, 32, who has played for three football clubs in Thailand, his Thai wife Aicha Jarataku, 38 and Saengdao Atliang, 26 were arrested in Chiang Mai, two more accomplices implicated are being sought after, warrants were issued yesterday.
Immigration chief Lt-Gen Surachate Hakparn said the arrests stemmed from a latest case in which the gang posed as representing a foreign college. They contacted a parent of a child at the college via email who was conned into parting with 600,000 baht for school fees.
The money went into the account of one of the conspirators in Chiang Mai and it was then taken out of the account by the others. An email scammer who was not named appears to be another one involved as six members of the gang were mentioned.
According to Thai media Spring News, Lt-Gen Surachate said that the Cameroonian man and the others had been involved in frauds of over 10 million baht with at least ten victims.
Mr. Etoundie has been in Thailand 13 years and was married to Aicha. He originally taught football coaching to children in Pathum Thani and Sakon Nakhon.
Later he was contracted to play for Chiang Rai City in 2017, Sisaket United in 2018 and is currently on the books at the semi professional club of Sakon Nakhon FC. He is a defender.
Etoundie’s role was to help his wife convince young people learning at his soccer camps to open bank accounts with ATM cards that they would subsequently use in their crimes.
Lt-Gen Surachate said two more Thai female suspects are being sought after arrest warrants were issued in Chiang Mai.