THAILAND (TR) – For Uthai Nanthakhan, it’s about getting even.
Police in Bangkok have for the seventh time arrested the 45-year-old Thai national for posing as a woman in distress to defraud male Japanese tourists, reports NHK (Nov. 12).
According to police, Uthai posed as a female tourist from Taiwan and Hong Kong by dressing in women’s clothing and approached Japanese visitors in shopping districts between August and October.
“I came here on a trip and my wallet and passport were stolen. I want you to lend me money,” he told them.
In some cases, the suspect escorted the victims to an ATM machine, police said.
According to the Embassy of Japan in Bangkok, nine Japanese men have been swindled over the last three months, with the amount lost totaling the equivalent of about 1.6 million yen.
“Please do not respond to a stranger asking you to lend money,” a representative of the embassy cautioned.
“Leaving me to pay the bills”
The arrest is at least the sixth for Uthai. Over the past 10 years, the suspect is believed to have used the same ruse to swindle around 100 Japanese tourists out of more than 20 million yen. He has spent time in prison for the crimes.
In interviews, Uthai explains that his motive for targeting Japanese tourists is revenge.
“When I was a college student, I went on a trip with a Japanese man,” the suspect said last year. “But he abandoned me at a hotel, leaving me to pay the bills. Ever since being tricked, I have held a grudge against Japanese people.”