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Dutchman wanted over property scam arrested at airport

Dutchman arrested at airport suspected of property scam
A Dutchman wanted for almost a decade in connection with a European property investment fraud was arrested at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok on Saturday morning.

The arrest of Olav-Wilhelmus Johannes Baartmans, who had been in hiding in Thailand, was the result of a joint operation by Thai police and Interpol.

Baartmans, who did not carry a passport, was detained as he went to meet a friend at the airport. He was initially charged with staying in Thailand without permission.

Interpol Thailand office head Pol Maj-General Apichat Suriboonya was informed by Interpol Netherlands two years ago that the suspect had fled to Thailand in August 2007.

It is alleged he led a transnational gang that preyed on people in various European countries, persuading them to invest in Turkish properties with a promise of huge returns within a short time.

In a separate case, Immigration Police in Nong Khai arrested a South Korean businessman wanted over the alleged embezzlement of 52 million won (Bt1.7 million) in construction materials bought in his native country last year.

Bu Yon Kyan, 58, was nabbed while trying to sneak into Thailand via a border pier in Nong Khai’s Tha Bo district, having taken a long-tailed boat from Laos. He was initially charged with illegally entering Thailand.

It was reported that Bu also carried out construction business in Laos and had visited Nong Khai several times before the arrest. Police have contacted the South Korean Embassy in Bangkok to arrange for extradition.

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