Fake police/military extortion gang busted

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Four people who allegedly impersonated police and military officers to target drug users for extortion have been arrested in Pattaya.

Somporn Klangnak, 29, Manop Tongchai, 32, Rachatha Aabkornburi, 20, and Karuna Pramonloy, 31, were captured at The Ritz apartments in South Pattaya Nov. 2. Police seized from them three fake guns, two pairs of handcuffs, two walkie-talkies, fake police badges, four mobile phones, an amount of crystal methamphetamine, 2,750 baht cash and a gold ring.

A fifth man, identified as gang leader Sarayut Jemad, remains at large.

Investigators said the fake police and soldiers would monitor police radios to find drug-using victims, then would kidnap them, holding the victims in a so-called “safe house”.

Police were able to break up a gang posing as police and military that was targeting alleged drug users for extortion.Police were able to break up a gang posing as police and military that was targeting alleged drug users for extortion.

Money would be demanded for their release, but if the victims did not cooperate, they would be tortured. Investigators said the gang had been operating for about a month, with witnesses reporting that new victims were taken to the safe house on a daily basis.