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Pattaya Daily News

24 April 2008 :: 14:04:10 pm 11555

Pattaya Police Arrest Bogus Police Officer In Extortion Scam

Pattaya immigration police, responding to complaints, arrested a bogus immigration officer from Ayuthaya province, today, April 24, 2008, at 00.25am. The man had been preying on local construction operators employing foreign workers in Pattaya, demanding protection money of between Bt. 10,000 – 20,000 from each business owner and threatening to arrest his workers if they failed to pay up.
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The police had been tipped off by local business operators about the bogus immigration officer’s tactics and decided to trap him by pretending to be one of the victimised businessmen, phoning the man, Mr. Somboon Buo-keaw, (48), to ask him to rendezvous for payment. Accordingly, the Pattaya immigration police team, led by Pol.Maj. Thanaphat Promsuk, and Pol.Capt. Archeep Jaruensantisuk, arranged to meet Mr. Somboon beside Big C, South Pattaya.

Mr. Somboon had informed police that he would identify himself by hanging a camera round his neck and come out to the road side to collect the money. A plainclothes policeman met Mr.Somboon and gave him Bt6,000. As soon as Mr. Somboon had accepted the money, put it in his pocket and was about to go, the police team arrested him, using as evidence the money he had just accepted and a mobile phone that he had used to contact the victims of his extortion scam.

Initially, Mr. Somboon told police that he was a construction contractor and also claimed to be a local news reporter of Joh Khao Det newspaper, showing a reporter’s I.D. card to the police. However, the ID was no longer valid, having expired some time ago. When confronted with the expired ID and on further questioning, Mr. Somboon confessed that, he had not held a job in the construction business recently. Through knowing some Pattaya Immigration police during the time he was a news reporter and gaining some familiarity with their procedures, he further confessed that he had conceived the idea of extracting money from construction contractors who employed foreign workers, some no doubt illegaly. Accordingly, he had been pretending to be a police officer, using the name of Darb Nikorn from Pattaya Immigration office, demanding a protection fee of between Bt10,000 – 20,000 per month. He also threatened to arrest all the foreign workers if the contractors failed to pay.

Police charged Mr. Somboon with defrauding others by misrepresenting himself as a police officer and demanding money under threat , according to criminal act M.342 (1) and would be processed according to the law.

Reporter : Kampee   Photo : Kampee   Category : Crime News

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