SURAT THANI – Two Ugandan men and a Thai woman have been arrested on Koh Samui for alleged collusion in an online romance scam, duping Thai women into transferring money into their bank accounts.
The trio – Rogers Kyeyune, 31, and Emmanuel Kasoma, 37, from Uganda, and Wilaiwan Phetthong, 24 -are accused specifically of swindling money from four women, Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy chief of the Tourist Police Bureau, said at a media briefing on Wednesday.
The suspects were taken to the Royal Thai Police Office headquarters following their arrest in Koh Samui district, Surat Thani, on Monday by immigration police. They were caught while withdrawing money at different places on Koh Samui island.
The passports of the two Ugandan men had expired. They were initially charged with overstaying their visas. The arresting team seized bank accounts, ATM cards, mobile phones and notebook computers from the three suspects and sent the information to the Royal Thai Police Office centre for information technology crime suppression for examination.
Investigators said the two foreign suspects and the Thai woman were colluding in swindling money from Thai women on Facebook. About 800,000 baht in total had been paid into the gang’s accounts.
Of the victims, four women had already filed complaints with police – at Talat Phlu police station and Pracha Chuen police station, both in Bangkok, and police stations in Buri Ram and Trang provinces.
Damage to the four complainants was about 300,000 baht, said Pol Maj Gen Surachate, head of the centre’s suppression team.
The centre would coordinate with banks and the Anti-Money Laundering Office to confiscate assets from the gang and return money to the victims, said Pol Maj Gen Surachate. The investigation was ongoing.
The Ugandan men had created fake Facebook accounts using photos of good looking foreigners in the profiles to draw their victims’ attention, according to the Tourist Police Bureau Facebook page.
Ms Wilaiwan told police she had met the two men only recently at a spa shop. They had hired her to open bank accounts for them, and paid 4,000 baht per account, according to INN News agency.
Source. Tourist Police Bureau, Bangkok Post