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Former Police Officer Arrested for Preying on Foreign Tourists



SAMUT PRAKAN – At a press conference yesterday, Tourist Police deputy commissioner Surachate Hakparn told reporters that a former police officer, Sommas Boonyen, 39, was arrested for allegedly stealing money and other valuables from an Indian engineer working for an airline. He has had a long record of preying on foreign tourists.

Sommas Boonyen, a former police officer attached to a Bangkok’s Bang Na police station was apprehended at the entrance of Soi Chalerm Prakiart in Prawet district on theft charges and taken for a police press conference on Tuesday.

A 9mm pistol, 27 rounds of ammunition, a Toyota car, 2,000 baht cash, 190 rupees and a police uniform were seized from the suspect, said Pol Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn said.

The arrest came after Thajudheen Poovancheer, 27, an Indian national working as an engineer for the airline Jin Air, filed a complaint at Suvarnabhumi airport police station on April 29, saying he had been robbed while having a meal opposite a hotel on King Kaew Road in Bangkok’s Bang Phli district.

He said a man dressed as a police officer had asked to see his passport and then searched his wallet. The ‘policeman’ took his credit cards, cash and his mobile phone, said the engineer.

Police began an investigation that led to the arrest of Mr Sommas in Prawet district a day after the complaint was filed.

The suspect had a criminal record of committing similar offenses on several occasions, said the deputy chief. He was expelled from the police force on April 7 after he was arrested for theft by Bang Na police on March 1.

He was released on bail, but proceeded to commit the same offense.

The suspect confessed to the charges and was held in police custody for legal action, said Pol Maj Gen Surachate.


By Sutthiwit Chayutworakan
Bangkok Post

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