Man who blackmailed minor with nudes gets bail

Man who blackmailed minor with nudes gets bail

A man alleged to be involved in the suicide of a minor after having blackmailed her into sending explicit images of herself was released by the Criminal Court yesterday on 50,000-baht bail.

Police from the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) took Piyabutr Urai-ngam, 27, to the court to seek approval for the first round of his detention. Bail was opposed by authorities who said the case carried a severe penalty, and the suspect posed a flight risk.

The suspect, who worked as a call centre operator at a communications firm, was arrested in tambon Khu Khot of Lam Luk Ka district, Pathum Thani province, on Thursday morning. He has been charged with possession of child pornography for sexual and commercial purposes.

Despite police opposition, the Criminal Court released him on bail after he posted 50,000 baht as surety.

The court said he must be fitted with an electronic monitoring bracelet and barred from using social media.

Police have been permitted to search his house any time they suspect a repeat offence. Violation of any of the conditions would result in the revocation of his bail, said a police source.

Pathum Thani provincial court earlier issued a search warrant after an officer sought help from Pol Maj Gen Charoonkiat Pankaew, commander of the Anti-Corruption Division, saying his 14-year-old daughter had committed suicide after being victimised by a social media user who used fake Discord and Twitter accounts to approach her.

Her father said the minor was lured into sending nude photos of herself in exchange for money. The account holder used the material to coerce her into engaging in video calls with him and following lewd instructions. The girl later hanged herself.

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