Nigerian-Thai couple arrested for B20m romance scam

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Police arrested a Nigerian and his Thai wife for allegedly swindling marriage-seeking Thai women out of altogether 20 million baht via their internet romance scam in the past year.

Crime Suppression Division police arrested Uraporn Kesawatana, 34, and her Nigerian husband Chinaka Chinedu, 23, on Phetkasem 77 Road in Nong Khaem district, Bangkok, CSD deputy commander Sithatkhet Khruwatanaset said on Thursday.

The arrest followed a report form immigration police at Suvarnabhumi airport that many people showed up at the main airport of Bangkok to bribe airport police and customs officials and claim parcels containing merchandise and tens of thousands of US dollars in cash which actually never existed.

Prior to that, Pol Col Sithatket said, the Nigerian man had picked female victims at chatting websites, claimed to be a good-looking, white well-to-do, developed close ties and proposed marriage.

Then he told believers that he had some cargoes stuck at the airport and needed money to bribe airport authorities to get the stuff. He promised to share income earned from the "cargoes" with victims.

The Thai wife then informed victims of bank account numbers and told each to transfer US$30,000-50,000. They shut their phones right after receiving money.

Miss Uraporn also transferred some money to their accomplices in Malaysia and police were looking for two other Thai women who were members of the same gang, Pol Col Sithatkhet said.

Miss Uraporn said the scam had continued for a year and they made off with about 20 million baht. Police also found that the Nigerian man's visa already expired.

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