Vietnamese man who tried to paddle to India fell victim to romance scam

Photo via ทัพเรือภาคที่ ๓

The Vietnamese man who tried to paddle an inflatable boat from Thailand to India to meet his “wife” was either scammed or “catfished,” where someone uses a fake profile online to deceive another person for money or personal reasons.

International media outlets picked up the story of the 37 year old Vietnamese man who spent 18 days at sea on a quest to meet his love in person. But once the man shared a photo of his wife to Thai media, people quickly recognised the woman in the photo. She was Indian TV actress Divyanka Tripathi Dahiya who has been married since 2016.

It’s unclear if the person behind the fake Facebook was scamming the man for financial gain, or if they were just deceiving him for personal reasons. According to reports in Thai media, the man claimed he met the woman in person back in 2019 while he was in India and that she shared her Facebook account with him. He said they didn’t talk for two years, and he decided to paddle to India to see her.

The 37 year old man spent 18 days in an inflatable boat, only making it 80 kilometres of the 2,500-kilometre journey before the navy rescued him. He had no map, compass, or GPS to navigate him.

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The man suffered from exhaustion and was sent to a hospital for treatment. The official site of the Royal Thai Navy shared that the Vietnamese man has travelled back to Vietnam by a speedboat.

Wife of Vietnamese man who paddles from Phuket to India
Divyanka Tripathi Dahiya, the Indian celebrity who the Vietnamese claimed to be his girlfriend.

SOURCE: Matichon | Thai News Agency

Vietnamese man who tried to paddle to India fell victim to romance scam | News by Thaiger

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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