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Slow progress by Phuket police in catching extortionist in police uniform

Slow progress by Phuket police in catching extortionist in police uniform

PHUKET: Police have made little progress in their investigation into a man wearing a police uniform while extorting money from a Phuket expat under threat of jail.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 16 March 2022, 05:19PM

However, Phuket Town Police Chief Col Sarawut Chuprasit has assured that his officers are not ignoring the case.

Police have already requested Kasikornbank to freeze the account held by Pongdanai Chaya, which long-term Phuket expat Alain Gogniat was pressured into transferring B56,000 early last month.

Officers have also requested the bank provide evidence that the account was actually opened by Pongdanai as many scam operators now use “mule accounts” to process their ill-gotten gains, he added.

Police a month ago confirmed that Pongdanai is a Chiang Mai native and that officers had already issued a summons for Pongdanai to present himself to police for questioning.

Six weeks later, Pongdanai still has yet to present himself, Col Sarawut confirmed yesterday (Mar 15).

“A second summons is now being issued. If he doesn’t come to meet the police, the police will collect evidence to request an arrest warrant be issued by the court,” Col Sarawut said.

Bank statements show that the funds extorted from Mr Gogniat have already been transferred to another account, and again to a third account, Col Sarawut explained.

QSI International School Phuket

Police are now checking the details of the registered owners of the bank accounts that the funds were transferred to, he added.

Col Sarawut explained that many scam gangs were now presenting themselves as police officers in extorting money from their victims, and using fake LINE and Facebook groups set up to dupe their victims.

“I have ordered our officers to repeatedly post warnings about this on our Facebook page,” he said.

However, the scam that targeted Mr Gogniat stands out from the plethora of scam warnings from police and senior government officials in that the man who presented himself as a police officer was happy to show Mr Gogniat that he was in the full, correct uniform.

Phuket Town Police announced more than a month ago that the extortionist was not one of their officers.

However, they have yet to reveal whether Pongdanai Chaiya is a Royal Thai Police officer stationed anywhere else in the country.

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Capricornball | 17 March 2022 - 14:46:33

Funny, when something like this happens...most people took to the police as the source of crime or criminal...not to solve the case. I don't think the police care one bit anymore what people think...just a shrug of the shoulders and then decide where they're going for lunch followed with a nap. Seems the average Thai has also given up caring and just assumes the cops are involved. TIT

Kurt | 17 March 2022 - 13:26:59

@Timothy, Indeed, we never heard of a arrest of the Thai people ( with weapon license!) in Rawai who provided the guns to gun men who killed that Indian criminal. A missed Photo session for Officials + RTP. With reason? Perhaps the owner(s) were Government Officials. So, just a cover up Thai way. Keep silent and let forget.

Timothy | 17 March 2022 - 09:59:59

Most likely he is a real cop. Why else would they drag their feet? On another police related topic, what ever happened to the registered owner of the guns used in that killing of the Indian mafia guy? Very strange that they never provided any information as to who supplied the guns. Could that person be a police officer too? Why else would they not charge that person? 

JohnC | 17 March 2022 - 09:25:07

Hard to find him because he is probably a real cop and his cronies are helping to hide him. (For a cut of the money he got of course...)

Kurt | 17 March 2022 - 00:54:08

RTP, what a useless handsitting club. Just sending out summons instead of hunting him down and arrest. If you tell this RTP story in a normal functioning democratic country they not believe you. Thanks doing nothing RTP, the money is gone through several accounts. I have a turtle who likes to become a RTP officer. Guess he makes good chance to pass the RTP  entry test.

Fascinated | 16 March 2022 - 18:54:53

'If it suits you please turn up at the nearest police station if its not too convenient'. If this was a HiSo they would be on it like a girl falling off a motorboat!


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