Police have arrested a Thai man as an accessory in the alleged abduction and crypto-ransom by immigration police officers of a Chinese man and his Thai interpreter.
Surachai Patanachaicharoen, 58, was taken into custody in the parking lot of the Big C store in Wang Thonglang district about 7pm on Monday.
According to Pol Col Sakaya Saengwan, deputy commander of Metropolitan Police division 1, the suspect confessed to having pointed out the victims to the five accused immigration policemen before they were abducted in Din Daeng district.
He said the Thai suspect had not revealed how much money he had expected to receive from the policemen as his share in the abduction and ransom.
Last year, Mr Surachai had arranged for the issuance of an ID card for the Chinese victim. It was alleged the immigration policemen had facilitated the issuance of fake passports and IDs to Chinese nationals in order to extort money from them later.
The Thai suspect had previously been convicted in drug, defamation and illegal detention cases, he said.
Pol Col Sakaya confirmed that police were investigating the production of fake passports and ID cards and would take action against any corrupt officials involved.
Five immigration policemen allegedly abducted a Chinese man and his 38-year-old interpreter Namsee Sae Lee outside their house in Din Daeng district on March 10.
They allegedly demanded payment of 10 million baht in the dollar-pegged crypto stablecoin USDT for the pair's freedom and were paid an undisclosed sum that was initially reported to be 30,000 tether, about one million baht.
The five accused immigration officers are: Pol Maj Sorawit Inlab, an inspector at Immigration division 1; Pol Lt Suriya Rukkhachart, a deputy investigator; Pol Snr Sgt Maj Peerasak Yimbaiboon; Pol Lt Prawit Ponjangreed, a deputy inspector; and Pol Maj Jiraphat Boonnam, a police inspector. All are being held without bail.