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Pattaya Daily News

10 September 2012 :: 15:09:59 pm 66457

Rogue Journalists Pose As Cops to Extort Money

Two Chiang Rai journalists pretending to be policemen were arrested during a violent extortion attempt at an Internet game shop. The men beat several store employees and fired a gun in the air to threaten the owner. The arrested men later refused to sign formal accusations from police.
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CHIANG RAI – September 9, 2012 [Pattaya Daily News]; The media were alerted to a video clip on the Internet showing employees of a Chiang Rai internet shop being beaten by a group of men who were impersonating police officers. The shop, named Virgin Net, is located at 665/4 Srikerd Road, municipal of Chiang Rai, Amphur Muang Chiangrai.

The video footage from the shop’s CCTV showed the group of men slapping and punching the employees of the shop, and then beating the shop owner.

The thugs then went outside to the front of the shop and kicked the motorbikes of the customers until the bikes toppled over. They then took out a pistol that they fired many times in the air as a threat.

The arrests of two men of that group of thugs occurred on September 8, 2012. At 3 a.m. the Chiang Rai police station was notified of a violent incident at the game shop, so the police rushed to the scene.

Police found two men arguing with the employees in the shop, so the police hurried to stop them. But the two men went outside the shop, where more fighting occurred. Then one of the men shot a pistol into the air three times before they were arrested by police, who took them to the police station.

Of the two arrested suspects, one man is the reporter of a local newspaper and the other man is the reporter of a TV station and the central newspaper in Chiang Rai.

The police initially charged the suspects with possessing a gun and taking the gun into town without necessary cause, and shooting in a public place without necessary cause.

Both suspects refused to comply and did not consent to sign their names to acknowledge the accusations by police. Later, they were bailed out after paying 200,000 THB.

Mr. Thachaphol Phansil, age 32, the owner of Virgin Net, told police that the same group of four men had previously threatened him by pretending to be police officers working in the vice division for human trafficking.

The fake cops had come to inspect his game shop and claimed that he was allowing children play past the legal time limit. But the men negotiated to overlook the offense in return for Mr. Thachaphol paying them 2,000 to 3,000 THB a month.

But the shop owner refused to pay, so the group of men returned on a later date at night. The store employees called Mr. Thachaphol to inform him that the group of men had come to the shop again.

Then when the staff girl told the four men that the shop has the correct work permit, she was slapped immediately.

The men also began viciously beating her and another male employee, and tried to destroy the computers in the shop. The men then went to the front of the shop outside to kick many motorbikes until they fell down to the ground.

When Mr. Thachaphol arrived at the shop, the men threw objects in the shop at his body, and began punching him. They then pointed the gun at him to threaten him. They had seized the key of his motorbike when the police arrived.

Mr. Thachapol later said that after the two men were arrested, he received a phone call from an unknown person who told him to drop the charges against the suspects.

But Mr. Thachapol didn’t consent, and will fight for justice as much as possible. He also knew that the men have also tried to extort money from other Chiang Rai shops.

Category : Crime News

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