SOI NANA, Thailand - He worked as a chef in Sweden, but is now forced to beg on the streets in Thailand.
Images of Mr Lief Christer, 45, sleeping on a footpath in the Soi Nana area went viral online last week, the Bangkok Post reported.
Mr Christer (inset) had arrived in Thailand in May, hoping to settle down with a bar-girl he had met while visiting the country last November. He also stayed with the woman at a condominium in Soi Nana in January.
Having sold everything he had in Sweden, he took his life savings of more than one million baht (S$39,100) with him to Thailand.
Mr Christer ended up being cheated of everything he had by the "girlfriend", and was left with only his passport and a few belongings. He sought the help of the Swedish Embassy several times, but it could not give him financial assistance.
Ms Pemika Jiawong, 40, said he had tried to earn money by working as a hired hand, and now begs with a tin can in the Soi Nana area.
Ms Pemika, who works at a pharmacy in the area, said she befriended Mr Christer after he tried to break into a condominium room where her colleague lived.
The "girlfriend", who is believed to work in a Soi Nana bar, had apparently tricked him into thinking that she lived in the room.
Mr Christer had gone there to ask for his money back, said Ms Pemika.
But he has not been able to contact the bar-girl.
The Swede separated from his wife, with whom he has two children, five years ago.
Ms Pemika said Mr Christer is reluctant to take money from her and is now depressed and distrustful of people.
She said she and two colleagues take turns to visit him every night after work so that Mr Christer can feel a bit better.
All three women have to walk past him to reach their nearby apartment.
Mr Christer recently had an operation for a bladder problem and still has to use a urine catheter.
Netizens are now trying to launch a donation campaign to help him.
This article was first published on August 27, 2014.
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