Pattaya police have joined the search for a well-known foreign swindler who added a local man to his list of victims.
Jettarin Boonmarong, 21, complained to police June 4 that a foreigner he knew only as “John Edward” through a gay website cheated him out of 32,000 baht.
The Sukhothai native who as a cashier at the PM Coffee Shop said he had chatted daily for months with the well-dressed 32-year-old foreigner, said he was coming to Thailand to open a gay bar in Pattaya. Finally the day came June 3 when they were supposed to meet, but Edward telephoned Jettarin to say he had been arrested by customs officials at Phuket International Airport.
Jettarin Boonmarong (left) makes a report at the police station, stating that a foreigner cheated him out of 32,000 baht.
Jettarin told police that Edward claimed he had been caught not declaring a large amount of cash he brought into the country and had been fined 75,000 baht. However, Edward claimed, he only had 50,000 baht and asked his online friend to wire him the other 25,000 baht.
To seal the deal, Edward put a Thai woman on the phone who claimed to be an customs officer. She told Jettarin she would make the entire case go away for a 7,000 baht bribe.
The young man transferred the 32,000 baht to a Kaskikornbank account under the name of Wanpen Sameepetch.
Jettarin never heard from his handsome foreign friend again. He finally checked the website for the Phuket Immigration Office and found a warning regarding a fraud gang deceiving people into wiring money.
Transnational Crime Coordination Center police in Chonburi are now working with immigration officials, who said they are well aware of “John Edward” and his Thai accomplice.