International marriage scam leaves Korean men heartbroken
Suspects approached victims through social media claiming to be British and American medical officers
By Lee Han-soo
Busan Metropolitan Police are investigating an international marriage scam ring that has swindled four Korean men.
The scam was exposed when one of the victims got suspicious and told police. This led to the capture of the ring’s alleged money collector from Cameroon.
The alleged ring‘s four criminals swindled more than 130 million won (US$114,780) from the men after promising to marry them.
The swindlers approached the men through chatting application Baboo and Facebook and said they were medical officers from the U.S. or the U.K.
They sent purported pictures of themselves to the victims and said they had no families and wanted to settle in Korea.
Police said that when the victims were hooked, the criminals asked the men to send money they said was needed to be deployed as a U.N. peacekeeper in Syria. The criminals also requested money so they could to wire to Korea a secret stash of cash found in Syria during a covert operation.
The criminals also made up elaborate stories about how they needed money to bribe a French diplomat and a British transport company to send the money to the victims, police said.
One of the men became suspicious after discovering that a safe sent by the criminals that was supposed to contain money was full of black paper about the size of US$100 bills.
Whenever the victims tried to call the swindlers, they told them they could not take the calls because they were inside a military base.
After receiving a tip that the alleged French diplomat and British transport company employee are living in Korea, police opened an investigation to arrest them.
“The scam ring sent numerous photos of beautiful medical officers through email or Facebook to the victims,” a police official told News1, a Korean media outlet. “However, we have not verified if the con artists are actually women or not.”