Woman arrested for bogus-soldier online romance scam
published : 2 Dec 2021 at 17:52
writer: Wassayos Ngamkham
A woman who allegedly colluded in an online romance scam, posing as an American soldier and defrauding another woman of 250,000 baht, has been arrested in Chon Buri.
Urai Khamsaenphan, of Sa Kaeo, was apprehended at a shopping mall in Bang Lamung district on Thursday, Pol Lt Gen Jiraphob Bhuridej, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, said.
She was wanted on a warrant issued by Chanthaburi Provincial Court on May 15, 2019 for colluding in public fraud and breaching the Computer Crime Act.
Ms Urai allegedly colluded with accomplices in setting up a romance scam, using a fake profile of an American soldier named “Donald Steven’’ to approach a woman online.
Through chat messages, the bogus soldier had lulled the woman into believing he was in love with her and wanted to marry her.
He told her he served in Iraq and received a lot of allowances. He planned to leave the military and would bring all of his assets with him to live with her in Thailand.
She was told a parcel containing valuables had been sent to her. He would fly to Thailand later to be with her.
Another member of the gang then phoned her, pretending to be an official in charge of international parcels. This scammer had told her she owed fees amounting to 400,000 baht to clear a parcel.
The woman had 250,000 baht in her bank account and she transferred the money to a account number given to her by the fake official.
That was the last she heard from him, or about the parcel. When she realised she had been cheated she lodged a complaint with Muang police in Chanthaburi province.
Police investigators followed a trail to Ms Urai. She was arrested.
During questioning, Ms Urai denied all charges and refused to give a statement.
Police said she has a criminal record and was wanted on another warrant issued by Prachuap Khiri Khan Provincial Court on similar charges.
She was handed over to Muang police in Chanthaburi for legal action.