SINGAPORE – A Singaporean man thought he was just getting a hug from a transgender person on the streets of Thailand.

But what was supposedly a friendly gesture turned out to be a case of snatch theft, as the person soon fled with the man’s gold chain in hand.

In a post on Facebook, the Lumphini police in Bangkok, said the incident happened at around 12.30am on Wednesday near Asok Train Station.

The Singaporean tourist, identified as Mr Andy Koh Kuan Yong, 52, was walking with a Thai friend near the station in the early hours of the morning when the person approached them and hugged Mr Koh.

The police said the person unhooked the 30,000 baht ($$1,100) gold chain from Mr Koh’s neck during the hug and fled with it.

Mr Koh and his friend gave chase and caught the thief. After retrieving the gold chain, they called the police.

When the police arrived, they found the person did not have any personal documents.

Further investigations found that the transgender person, a man who now identifies as a woman, was a 36-year-old illegal immigrant from Cambodia who went by the name Kinkon.

Kinkon was arrested and has been charged with snatch theft.

If convicted, Kinkon can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to 100,000 baht.