Thai police have arrested three Nigerian men and a Thai woman on charges of luring women into romantic relationships via Facebook and other social-networking websites and swindling them, news reports said Wednesday.
The suspects were accused of bilking $266 000 from 18 women before they were arrested Monday at a Bangkok apartment.
The Nigerians posed as wealthy and handsome American and European men, posting bogus photos to their targets over chat programmes, police Lieutenant General Panu Kerdlarppol was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying.
They web-chatted with their victims for one month to one year to persuade the women they loved them. The suspected conmen then told their victims they had shipped valuables to them as gifts, posting photos and fake invoices of the expensive items.
The Thai accomplice then allegedly posed as a government official and told the victims they had to pay customs duties to take delivery.
The victims were then instructed to pay the duties via bank transfer.
Panu said the internet fraud ring was believed to have 70 members and their leader was based in Malaysia.