Nigerian, Thai romance scammers caught in Malaysia
24 Jan 2019 at 16:27 9 comments
WRITER: ONLINE REPORTERS
Some of the items seized from the online romance scammers during raids on seven locations in Malaysia during which seven Nigerian men and seven Thai women were arrested on Jan 23. (Photo by the Tourist Police Bureau)
Fourteen people, Nigerians and Thais, wanted for swindling Thai women out of more than 100 million baht via online romance scams have been arrested during joint police raids in Malaysia.
Malaysian and Thai police searched seven residences in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday after investigators learned that members of a Nigerian romance scam gang preying on Thai women had fled to Malaysia.
The joint operation followed earlier raids at three locations in Thailand.
In Malaysia, seven Nigerians wanted on arrest warrants issued by Thai courts on charges of swindling were arrested. Seven Thai women wanted on the same charges were also caught, immigration chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn told a media conference on Thursday.
Many mobile phones, computers and other communication devices were seized, along with records of chat messages between the alleged scammers and victims.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate, also deputy director of Thailand's Action Taskforce for Information Technology Crime Suppression (Tactics), said the drastic crackdown on scam gangs operating in Thailand had led to the suspects fleeing to Malaysia, which they used as a base to prey on women online for over a year.
These Nigerians had created fake Facebook accounts using photos of other men for their profile shots. They then sweet-talked their victims. Women thinking they were in love sent money to them.
Over the past year alone, the gang had conned more than 100 million baht from their victims, with the latest being swindled out of 29 million baht, Pol Lt Gen Surachate said.