Thai authorities apprehended two Nigerian men and a Thai woman in Phuket’s Thalang district, for their alleged involvement in a romance scam.
According to foreign news outlet, Phuket Express, on Friday, the raid, conducted on the night of February 8, 2024, at a residence in the Phatcharee Thalang housing estate, led to the arrest of 32-year-old Thai woman, Kanyathanat Thotsatham, and the Nigerians, whose identities were not disclosed by authorities.
In addition to the arrests, law enforcement seized 50 sachets of cocaine and a digital balance from the property. Ms. Kanyathanat was wanted under an arrest warrant issued by the Samut Prakan Provincial Court for offenses related to public fraud and inputting false information into a computer system.
Investigations revealed that the two Nigerian men had overstayed their visas, with durations of 1,401 days and 1,728 days, respectively.
Inspector Pol Lt Col Pitthaya Thepmuang of the Tourist Police Sub-Division 3 explained that the arrested individuals were part of a romance scam ring, with foreign nationals, particularly from South Africa, being involved.
The scam involved the creation of fake Facebook accounts to deceive individuals in Thailand into making monetary transfers.
Further probes identified Kanyathanat as an accomplice within the gang, responsible for withdrawing and transferring funds to the bank accounts of a Nigerian ringleader residing abroad.
This operation resulted in numerous individuals falling victim to the scam.
During interrogation, the Nigerian men confessed to their participation in the romance scam and admitted to selling cocaine to foreign tourists in Phuket as an additional source of income.
All suspects have been handed over to the Thalang police station for legal proceedings.