German ‘big-leg’ conman Benjamin Holst has become a Muslim — boasting that his new name will help him return to countries that have blacklisted him.
We recently reported that Benjamin Mohamed Drammeh — as he is now known — had married a woman called Yima in Gambia.
Announcing his happy news on his Facebook page, he called her family “his new family” and wrote: “Never more Asia, only Gambia”.
Now, it seems, he may have changed his mind. This week he shared a photo of his religious conversion certificate from the Kanifing Islamic Court on the Thaivisa website.
When asked if he was planning to return to Thailand, he replied: “With my new name it’s more easy”.
The German conman is banned from several Southeast Asian countries for using his grotesquely swollen leg to play on the sympathy of strangers.
His scam first came to light in 2014, when he claimed his passport and cash were stolen during a trip to Thailand.
Locals, expats and tourists rallied round to help him raise thousands of dollars for a flight home. Holst used the cash to take a taxi to Pattaya. When he arrived, he blew it all on lavish dining, drink and prostitutes.
After Thai netizens spotted Holst’s bragging Facebook posts, a campaign to deport him grew online, and the police did exactly that. Last September, we reported how he was turned away from a flight to the country.
Later, in May 2015, he arrived in the Philippines, staying in upmarket hotels in Manila in Angeles City. He then moved on to Indonesia, where he was again deported.
Holst suffers from a rare form of gigantism called macrodystrophia lipomatosa. This has caused his leg to swell severely. While it appears painful and debilitating, it does nothing to slow down his hedonistic, jet-setting lifestyle — all funded by the misplaced kindness of strangers.