PATHUM THANI – Police say they have arrested a group of Thais and Sierra Leonean who defrauded more than 640,000 baht from a Thai man in a "black money scam."
According to Pol.Maj.Gen. Montri Yimyaem, the four suspects, three Thais and one Sierra Leonean, told a 49-year-old man that they possessed a large bulk of "black money," blackened Pound Sterlings allegedly funneled by the Western governments to Sierra Leone during its civil wars in the 1990s.
Pol.Maj.Gen. Montri said the four suspects told the victim that the money could only be "cleaned" of its special black ink by a certain cleaning device, but the machine needed an expensive repair because it could turn the "black money" usable. The four suspects then reportedly promised that they will return a two-percent cut of the "cleaned money" to the victim if he agreed to pay for the repair.
The scheme is in fact an decades-old fraud known as "black money scam," as there is no such thing as the blackened money in the first place, Pol.Maj.Gen. Montri said at the press conference today.
"After the victim paid more than 640,000 baht to the suspects, the suspects disappeared, and he could not contact them, that is how he knew he was fooled. So he sought help from the police," Pol.Maj.Gen. Montri said.
All of the suspects were arrested yesterday, while a raid on one of the suspects' residence turned up certain amount of black-coloured paper, chemicals, and phony money-cleaning devices, the officer said at the press conference.
"The suspects confessed to the crime," Pol.Maj.Gen. Montri added.
Pol.Maj.Gen. Montri also urged members of the public who may have been duped by the suspects to come forward and press additional charges at Chualongkorn Police Station in Pathum Thani province.
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