Infamous ‘big-leg beggar’ Benjamin Holst has sworn never to return to Asia after tying the knot in Gambia.
The German conman has already been 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. In 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 and 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.
However, if he is to be believed, his lifestyle is set to change after he got married in the African nation yesterday (Thursday, December 14).
A perusal of his Facebook feed shows that he has been in a relationship with the lucky lady, Yima, since early November. He announced his engagement on Tuesday, and has already uploaded photos of his big day.
Back in the early days of the relationship, he called her family “his new family” and wrote “Never more Asia, only Gambia”.
In all fairness, his recent posts have been largely free of the usual red-light districts and heavy drinking. In fact they largely show the couple engaged in such blameless activities as romantic meals, trips to the beach, horse riding and cooking together.
So, perhaps all the 33-year-old needed was the love of a good woman to lead him back onto the straight and narrow?