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Frenchman arrested for allegedly scamming expats in Pattaya out of millions of baht

Petch Petpailin

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Photo via Pattaya City Police

A Frenchman is facing fraud charges for allegedly scamming expats in Pattaya out of millions of baht by claiming he had connections with several Thai authorities and promising help with obtaining visas, opening businesses, and buying motorbikes and cars. Reports say he scammed expats out of a total of 6.3 million baht.

58 year old Herve Christian Robert Leonard from Compiegne was arrested in Prachuap Khiri Khan. According to police reports, another man, Romain Jules Robert Leonard (it’s unclear if the suspects are related), is also facing fraud charges for involvement in the alleged scams.

One victim, an orthopaedic doctor in Pattaya, told police that Herve visited his clinic back in 2016 and told him that the business was under investigation by Thai police, warning the doctor that he could face jail time and be blacklisted from the country for running the clinic illegally, according to police reports obtained by The Thaiger.

Herve allegedly brought four to five people to the clinic who claimed to be Thai authorities who were investigating the case. The police reports say they allegedly asked for 80,000 baht in “investigation costs.” The victim told police that Herve then asked for another 80,000 baht to renew the business registration, claiming the one the doctor had was wrong.

Several victims say Herve scammed them out of hundreds of thousands of baht for costs for a visa and to open businesses. A man from Belgium reported to police that he lost 1.6 million baht for costs he thought were for a visa and approval of relevant documents to open a restaurant.

A Russian national told police Herve had him pay 950,000 baht for a visa and a document to open a gold shop. A Frenchman says Herve scammed him out of 400,000 baht for a visa and a document to open a hotel. Another Frenchman says he lost 9,000 baht for visa costs promised by Herve.

Other victims say Herve scammed them into paying for motorbikes or cars, but never delivered the vehicles. One expat from Switzerland says Herve scammed him into paying 450,000 baht for a car and 60,000 baht for a motorbike. Another person says he paid 60,000 baht for a motorbike from Herve.

According to reports by the Bangkok Post, Herve overstayed his visa by a year, four months and 27 days. He reportedly denied the accusations.

 

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    Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.

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