Busted bar owners bilked by bribe-taking fake Pattaya cop

Wattana Meesuta (right, white t-shirt), owner of Sky Mountain Bali Hai, waits impatiently to file his report.

Two Pattaya bar owners busted for violating the emergency decree lost a combined 130,000 paying “bribes” to a fake police officer to make the cases go away.

Prakob Chonsaranon, owner of the @Time Entertainment Complex, and Wattana Meesuta, owner of Sky Mountain Bali Hai, filed separate complaints with Pattaya police May 30, claiming that a man claiming to be a deputy police chief had approached them with an offer to drop charges against them in exchange for bribes of 90,000 and 40,000 baht, respectively.

Having already been arrested and charged in February with illegally selling alcohol, operating after legal hours and hosting groups in violation of the emergency decree, both bar owners agreed.

Both men quickly learned, however, that corruption doesn’t pay. Prakob said after he transferred 90,000 to the bank account for the fake cop nicknamed “D-Day”, he never heard from the “officer” again. And when he inquired about the supposed deputy chief at Pattaya Police Station, officers said they never heard of him.

Wattana, at least, was a bit more skeptical of the scam. He told investigators he was bombarded with phone calls from a man who identified himself as “Ton”, who refused to collect the bribe in person, fearing CCTV cameras would catch him on video.

Wattana recorded the telephone calls but nonetheless wired two payments totaling 40,000 baht to have his May 26 case cleared. The scammer even suggested they have dinner together once the charges were dismissed.

That was the last time Wattana ever heard from “Ton” and the charges weren’t dropped.

Wattana turned the recording over to police, who warned business owners to deal directly with police at the police station and not try to engage in corruption and bribery.

Prakob Chonsaranon, owner of At Time entertainment, said a man who identified himself as “Ton” refused to collect the bribe in person.