Nigerian Emery Henry Ogba who allegedly lured a Thai woman in Lampang province into wiring him nearly Bt100,000 in a “romance scam” arrested by Thai Police.
Ogba was nabbed at a department store in Nonthaburi province on April 21, following an arrest warrant issued by a Lampang Court on March 29 on charges of fraud and overstaying his visa.
The Tourist Police Bureau deputy commissioner, Pol Maj-General Surachet Hakparn said that the suspect, was a member of a gang believed to have a monthly income of Bt1 million from illicit operations.
The suspect used the Facebook photo of another man. After about two months, he said he wanted to send her a large sum of money and some other items, but he asked her to send him some money to pay tax.
A Thai woman then called the woman and convinced her that she was a government official and that she should do what “Westwood” requested.
Police seized Bt42,700 in cash, some ATM cards, bank books, and four mobile phones.
On February 21, a 41-year-old woman filed complaints with police in Lampang’s Koh Ka area that a man who identified himself as Mark Westwood, an American millionaire, befriended with her via Facebook conversations”.
The victim wired him money twice, totaling about Bt97,000. The next time the so-called government office rang her trying to convince her to wire more money, the sound of a baby crying was heard during the telephone conversation.
The cry of the baby made the woman realise that she was being cheated, as a government office should not have a crying baby. Therefore, she alerted police.
The deputy police commissioner Surachet said, the suspect sneaked into Thailand via Malaysia and had lived here illegally for more than eight years. He had in his possession three fake passports – two from Northern Ireland and one American.
The Thai woman who worked alongside the suspect opened bank accounts and helped generate about Bt1 million in monthly income for the gang.
Further investigations showed that the Nigerian was a member of a “romance scam” operating on Facebook. He variously identified himself as Thomas Anderson, Mike Dave, Bob Frank, Ivan Stogan, Luca Perozi or Chris Benson.
Claiming to be a millionaire, he befriended Thai women online and then cheated them out of their money.