Thai authorities have arrested six Nigerians for hard drugs and online dating scam at different areas in Bangkok, the nation’s capital.
One of the suspects, John Emeka was arrested alongside his accomplice, Wararat Chansod, a Bangkok woman, while delivering 2,060 grams of crystal methamphetamine to a New Zealander at a hotel in the city.
Thailand’s The Nation newspaper reported that all the suspects were arrested on Saturday.
The newspaper quoting sources at the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, said Emeka and Chansod, both 42, had reserved the hotel room where the alleged delivery took place.
Isidor Rein, 62, the New Zealander allegedly received a briefcase with a secret compartment containing the drugs to take to his country.
Thai agencies working as part of the Airport Interdiction Task Force made the arrests following a September 12 tip-off about a New Zealand man set to receive drugs to smuggle home.
With police on surveillance, Rein allegedly asked hotel staff to arrange a taxi ride for him on Saturday while he was waiting for “friends” in his room.
Emeka and Wararat allegedly arrived that afternoon with the briefcase and all three people were arrested when they returned to the lobby.
The other five Nigerians were arrested at various spots in Bangkok and the provinces along with 12 Thai people. The suspects had allegedly conspired to defraud 48 victims who registered with the online scam site of 5.96 million baht (about 180,000 U.S. dollars), said Deputy Tourist Police Commissioner Pol. Maj. Gen. Surachate Hakparn.
China.org.cn reported that the Nigerians allegedly faked identities as white males, pretentiously wooed the woman victims online and finally deceived each of them into transferring a sum of money which they had falsely claimed to pay for an import tariff and fee for the purported delivery of gift items from overseas.
Two of the five suspected Nigerian scammers were identified as James Onwuchukwu and Chinedu Nwaobi, according to the deputy tourist police commissioner.
The scammer suspects had allegedly prowled for preys who resided in Ram Indra Road area of Bangkok and in the provinces including Trat, Chonburi, Phitsanulok and Surat Thani.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Surachate said some 140 cases of online romance scams had already occurred in Thailand so far this year, defrauding a combined sum of 81 million baht (about 2.45 million U.S. dollars) out of the victims’ pocket.