Cops nab online trickster over sextortion scam
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Cops nab online trickster over sextortion scam

CHIANG MAI: A man who allegedly posed as a woman to blackmail a male university student online was arrested yesterday, according to police.

Acting on an arrest warrant by the Criminal Court, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) and the Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children (TICAC) Task Force arrested Natthawut Klinhom, 20, a native of Chiang Mai.

Mr Natthawut has been charged with extortion.

According to the authorities, the victim, 19, filed a complaint against Mr Natthawut accusing him of blackmail.

The victim said he met Mr Natthawut as a woman online and started a romantic relationship on social media.

He said Mr Natthawut started asking for nude photos and he obliged. Mr Natthawut then began extorting money while threatening to release the pictures if the victim refused to pay.

The student initially paid, but he could no longer do so after spending 19,000 baht to prevent Mr Natthawut from publishing the photos.

The victim then filed the complaint, which led to Mr Natthawut's arrest.

The authorities raided Mr Natthawut's home in the province and found the student's photos on a computer and mobile phones. Mr Natthawut reportedly confessed, saying he committed the crime because he needed the money.

Meanwhile, ATPD and TICAC law enforcement agents arrested Piyawat Benjawan, 40, for allegedly possessing child porn.

Pol Maj Gen Weerachon Boonthawee, investigation chief of Provincial Police Bureau 5, said the TICAC was informed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation that an individual in the country had downloaded porn featuring minors.

Police arrested Mr Piyawat at his home. He reportedly said he downloaded the images because he was bored in self-isolation.

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