Warrant out for Nonthaburi extortion mastermind

Warrant out for Nonthaburi extortion mastermind

Man implicated by tourist police officer and accomplice accused of collecting bribes from nightspots

Special operations officials stop a Tourist Police Bureau car at a Nonthaburi shopping mall on Thursday night to arrest a tourist police officer accused of taking bribes from entertainment venues in the province. Police are now seeking the person said to be the ringleader of the extortion gang. (Image from Department of Provincial Administration special operations unit Facebook page)
Special operations officials stop a Tourist Police Bureau car at a Nonthaburi shopping mall on Thursday night to arrest a tourist police officer accused of taking bribes from entertainment venues in the province. Police are now seeking the person said to be the ringleader of the extortion gang. (Image from Department of Provincial Administration special operations unit Facebook page)

An arrest warrant has been issued for the alleged mastermind behind the extortion of entertainment venues in Nonthaburi following the arrest of a tourist police officer and his accomplice.

The suspect, identified only as Suwan, 44, was implicated by Pol Snr Sgt Maj Phuwamet Hirunwongwaradol and Manus Suksom after they were arrested on Thursday night. The Nonthaburi provincial court subsequently approved the police request for the arrest warrant, Thai media reported.

Pol Snr Sgt Maj Phuwamet, 38, attached to Tourist Police Division 1, was arrested with Mr Manus in the car park of CentralPlaza Westgate shopping mall after collecting money from entertainment venues in Bang Yai district on Thursday night.

The arresting team seized 100,000 baht in cash, which included marked banknotes given to some nightspots by police investigators after they received a tip-off about police taking bribes.

During questioning, the two suspects claimed they gave the money collected from the entertainment venues to a man identified as “Pae”.

Police extended the investigation and found that Pae was named Suwan. They then gathered evidence to seek an arrest warrant.

The accused tourist police officer has already been relieved of his duties and placed under investigation for gross disciplinary violations in connection with the racket.

The two suspects are currently free on bail of one million baht each. Relatives put up land title deeds as surety to bail them.

After his release, Pol Snr Sgt Maj Phuwamet filed a complaint with Bang Yai police against Narong Tipsiri, chief of the special operations unit of the Department of Provincial Administration, who led the arrest operation.

The tourist police officer alleged that Mr Narong and his team members had forcibly made him get out of his car without informing him of any charges. He was injured and his car was damaged during the operation, he claimed.

At the video's two-minute mark, police officers arrest Pol Snr Sgt Maj Phuwamet Hirunwongwaradol and Manus Suksomin the car park of CentralPlaza Westgate shopping mall, Nonthaburi province, on Thursday night. (Video: Governing Officer's Law Enforcement Operation Center's Facebook page)


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