Gambler 'extorted by police'

Gambler 'extorted by police'

A gambler has claimed she was extorted to the tune of 400,000 baht by a gang of 15 accomplices, including two police officers from the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB).

The woman, who was not named, reported on March 25 that she along with two of her family members were taken from a restaurant in the Udomsuk area by 15 men.

They were reportedly threatened and told the men were loan sharks who wanted her to pay a debt to an online gambling site she used. The size of her debt was not revealed.

Later, the gang allegedly took them to the family's house and company offices to seize property belonging to her.

She claimed 400,000 baht in cash and gold ornaments were taken by the men before leaving. The woman later notified police that she had been kidnapped and extorted. She was due to be questioned yesterday at 10am but told investigators that she wished to delay the appointment, police said.

Deputy police spokesman Kritsana Pattanacharoen confirmed that the CCIB were dealing with a case involving 15 suspects and the same sum of money extorted from the woman.

Four suspects were reportedly policemen. The first two were believed to be CCIB officers while the others were supposedly attached to the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB).

Pol Col Kritsana said a special team had been formed to investigate the case. If the claims are proven true all suspects will face criminal charges and additional disciplinary action would be taken against the officers.

He added that national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk had demanded the commissioners of the CCIB and MPB quickly get to the bottom of the matter and clarify the facts to the public while also enforcing strict disciplinary measures against any officers involved.

Pol Maj Gen Trairong Phewpan, the MPB deputy commissioner, said all suspects would face charges regardless of whether they were police or civilians.

Investigators are expected to confirm soon if any police officers were connected to the online gambling site.

Pol Gen Suwat ordered the site's closure. However, there were concerns that if it was operating on multiple servers, it would reopen under another name.

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