By Fred Kaweesi and agencies
Ugandan-born footballer Savio Nsereko could spend an unspecified period in prison if convicted of fraud in Germany.
The former West Ham and German Under-20 international was arrested by Police in the Thai resort of Pattaya on Monday after faking his own kidnap with intentions of extorting 25,000 euros (sh83m) from his family members.
According to the Bangkonk Post, it is alleged that Nsereko telephoned members of his family from Thailand requesting them to send a ransom that would guarantee his release from kidnappers.
His family instead contacted the German embassy in Thailand, who involved the police.
The 23-year-old had spent 25,000 euros on his trip to Thailand and as a way of refilling his holiday bank account, developed promiscuous ideas and decided to con his family members.
Nsereko, whose disappearing acts have become legendary, will stand trial later this week.
In October 2010, the player went AWOL while on loan at German side 1860 Munich. He replicated this behaviour last year in September while on loan at Italian club Juve Stadia.
Then, Juve’s sporting director Salvatore Di Somma was quoted as saying that: “We take note of his behaviour, by virtue of which we have come to the conclusion that he cannot be part of our family.”
Nsereko’s contract was consequently terminated.
Months later, he fleeced a cab driver Amir Ali of £400 (sh2m) after spending £14,000 (sh58m) in casinos and strip clubs in Liverpool.
Nsereko, who had told the cabbie he had blown £14,000, borrowed £400 from him, using his passport as “surety”.
According to thesun publication, Nsereko also took Mr Ali to a cash machine and showed him a bank account with more than £130,000 in credit — claiming he could not access it.
He later avoided the driver. “I couldn’t believe it when I found out he’d checked out of his hotel and gone to Manchester,” said Ali.
Nsereko’s unhappy spell at Upton Park ended after just ten appearances when he was sold to Fiorentina.
He has since enjoyed spells with Italian side Bologna, clubs in Bulgaria, Romania and played at 1860 Munich before ending up at German third division side SpVgg Unterhaching.
He is the second Ugandan-born player to claim headlines for the wrong reasons in the United Kingdom.
In 2008, Joel Kitamirike, 24, was arrested over drug dealing charges and pleaded guilty to five charges, including supplying heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis.