Aussie, Ukrainian arrested on extortion, intimidation charges

Friday, 23 November 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 47 By  Boonlua Chatree

Two suspected members of a foreign organized-crime gang have been arrested for allegedly extorting and intimidating a Russian-restaurant owner.

Australian Marlen Pilman, 37, and Ukrainian Iarovyi Dmytro, 36, were captured in a sting operation at the Heat-7 restaurant in South Pattaya by Pattaya Tourist Police and Chonburi Immigration Police officers Nov. 14.

The arrests came after Waree Ditta, 30, owner of the Soi Kasetsin eatery, complained to the Tourist Police she was being shaken down for 20,000 baht from two tour guides that had signed up with her Russian husband to bring customers to Heat-7 for commission.

Marlen Pilman and Iarovyi Dmytro have been charged with various illegal weapons, extortion and robbery charges. Marlen Pilman and Iarovyi Dmytro have been charged with various illegal weapons, extortion and robbery charges.

Waree told police the men originally agreed to take 30 percent of their customers’ food bill as commission, but then became increasingly arrogant, refusing to pay their own meal bills, then coming back demanding the 20,000 baht as protection. If she didn’t pay, Waree told police, the pair threatened to have gangsters destroy her restaurant.

Police had Waree arrange a meeting to give Pilman and Dmytro a 4,000 baht deposit. Police arrested the pair after they accepted the cash.

Police alleged the two had been suspected in similar intimidation complaints. A search of their apartments uncovered a BB gun, handcuffs and a taser, all illegal. They were charged with various illegal weapons, extortion and robbery charges.

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