Con men pick the wrong target
PHUKET TOWN: Two alleged con artists from Africa were arrested late Tuesday night for trying to pull one of the world’s best-known con-tricks – the black-paper-into-cash scam. Unfortunately, their target was a cop who, instead of taking them up on their offer, took them downtown. Pol Lt Akanich Darnpitaksart, deputy inspector at Phuket Town Police Station, said 30-year-old Tchouffang Moukeumen, sometimes known as Eddy Aime, from Gabon, and Roland Tchaye, 25, from Cameroon, checked into the Thavorn Hotel in Phuket Town on Tuesday. Late that night the two men went to the lobby of the hotel and started chatting with staff at the front desk. One of the hotel employees told the police that the two guests were very friendly and gave the impression that they were businessmen looking for land to buy in the Patong area. They told one of the employees that they knew how to make 2,000 baht turn into 6,000 baht, and invited him up to their room to see how it was done. The employee demurred, saying he had to be on duty, but told the two that a friend of his might be interested, and that he would send the friend to their room. The employee then called the police. Pol Lt Akanich, masquerading as the friend, went to the hotel room with 2,000 baht cash. “First they inserted the two [1,000-baht] bank notes between two pieces of black A4 paper and put some kind of white powder on top of and between the pieces of paper,” explained Lt Akanich. They pressed the pieces of paper onto the notes, “then they took the notes out and put them in an envelope which was attached to another one containing four pieces of black paper the same size as a 1,000-baht bank note. “They pressed the two envelopes together and then they turned off the light and filled a plastic tray with some kind of chemical. They soaked the two envelopes in the chemical for a while. “When they were finished, they turned the lights back on and pulled six 1,000-baht notes from the envelopes,” Lt Akanich told the Gazette. Tchouffang and Roland were arrested immediately after their demonstration.
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