Heartless tourist ‘tricked children who dreamed of being football stars into handing him their money’
A heartless tourist was arrested after allegedly tricking children who dreamed of being football stars into handing him their money in Thailand.
Joseph Ondoua, 35, from Mauritius opened a football training school in his Thai wife’s village in Chiang Rai province claiming to teach underprivileged tribal children the sport ‘and help make their lives better’.
As the foreigner enrolled more children into his school, he then allegedly persuaded the parents with the help of his wife to pay him 700,000 to 900,000 baht so he could allegedly send the young footballers to train in the United States.
However, their alleged scam was uncovered when Thai immigration police caught two of their students in the airport carrying fake US visas. An investigation led to the arrest of the foreigner on August 11.
An investigating officer from the Suvarnabhumi Airport Police Station said: ‘We have gathered enough evidence to request an arrest warrant for the foreigner and his wife from the Samut Prakan provincial court.’
After parents heard about the airport incident, they lost trust in the football club and asked for their money back but the couple allegedly refused.
Angry parents also went to the Chiang Rai police station to report the couple where officers coordinated with the immigration authorities.
The couple were later arrested at a hotel in Nan province on the offence of falsifying documents using fake visa stamps and fraud.
Investigations on the case are still ongoing while the couple was remanded in custody.
Police Captain Nonthakorn Salakram said: ‘The foreigner denies doing anything wrong but we are interrogating him to find out what he did with the money the parents gave him.’