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Tourist Police seeks tighter visa screening of Ugandans, Nigerians

Jul 04. 2018
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By The Nation

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Police will propose tighter visa screening of Ugandans and Nigerians after another two Ugandans were arrested on charges of romance scamming, a senior police officer said on Wednesday.

Pol Maj-General Surachet Hakpal, deputy commissioner of the Tourist Police Bureau, went public with his proposal at a press conference held to announce the arrest of the two Ugandans and a Thai accomplice.

Surachet told reporters at the Royal Thai Police headquarters that Rogers Kyeyune, 31, Emmanuel Kasoma, 37 and a Thai woman, Wilaiwan Phetthong, 24, were arrested on Koh Samui on June 30.

The three were arrested by Samui police while withdrawing cash from ATM machines on the island, said Surachet, adding that the two Ugandans were also found to be overstaying their visa.

The two were charged with allegedly deceiving at least four Thai women to wire them over Bt800,000. They allegedly used handsome western men as their Facebook profile photos. They told their targets that they had mailed them romantic gifts but the presents were being kept by Customs officials. They requested the Thai women wire them money so they could get a Customs clearance for the gifts, said Surachet.

He added that the Thai suspect claimed to know nothing about the romance scam, and had merely been hired to open bank accounts for the two Ugandans. She got Bt4,000 for each account, she reportedly told police.

Surachet said he would soon consult with the Foreign Ministry on measures to more tightly screen visas for Ugandans and Nigerians, citing a large number of recent arrests for romance scans by citizens from the two African nations.

Surachet said the results of the negotiations would be soon known.

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