BANGKOK – Police in the resort town of Pattaya, Thailand have arrested a Nigerian man and his Thai wife for allegedly defrauding Thai women out of nearly Bt2 Million in an online “419” romance scam.
Pol Col Chiddecha Songhong, of the Royal Thai Police arrested 40 year-old Nigerian National Uchenna Joseph Amujiogu and his Thai wife Wassana Kanchiak, 36 at their residence in Pattaya.
The arrest followed a complaint lodged with police in February by a Thai woman who asked not to be named.
She told police that she had contacted a Facebook user named “UD Danid” who had pretended to be an American military doctor.
Uchenna later told her that the “World Bank” had approved a loan of US$500,000 (about 15 million baht) for her, but he asked her to first transfer $50,000 for “operating expenses” before he could give her access to the rest of the money.
She transferred the money via an online banking app to Uchenna’s wife account, only to find out later that it was a scam.
419 Nigerian Romance Scam
A 419 Nigerian romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.
Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.
Police in Thailand have long associated this criminal activity with nationals from Africa but particularly Nigeria.