When a Congolese national tried to open a bank account in Pattaya, she wasn’t banking on diligent staff who double checked her passport and found it to be a fake.
Claiming to be Belgian and calling herself “Barry Barnet Amler”, the woman, really called Ninelle Amisi Kyamasa, and from the Congo, presented a fake passport to a Pattaya Bank as she applied to open an account.
Staff smelt a rat so the details from the passport were quickly relayed to the Belgian Embassy for confirmation and the bank was advised that the passport she was using was, in fact, a fake.
Police were called and found her “real” passport which showed her to be from the Congo and here in Thailand with her “Husband”, Mirgo Nelson Jotamo who, like her had omitted to notice that their visitor visas had long expired.
Thailand’s fraud squad were brought into the investigation and it was quickly discovered that the two had planned to open accounts and then receive funds from overseas, launder them through the banking system and receive a commission of 5% for their efforts.
Its also likely that apart from being illegal, the funds could well be the result of internet or other scams carried out worldwide.
The laundry business probably wont be profitable for the couple as police questioned them before they finally admitted that they were planning to commit bank fraud.
Officials will now investigate the couple further as they have been in Thailand for some time and may well have already committed similar crimes in other cities, where bank staff are less diligent than those in Fun City.
Staff in the banking industry have been given extra training on fraudulent customers recently as a result of previous scammers and new account openings by foreigners have been scrutinized to a greater extent nationally.