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Police Arrest Men for Extorting Money Via Line Chat from Businessman

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Police in central Thailand have arrested two men for allegedly extorting Bt2 million baht a businessman via Line Chat in return for not posting obscene pictures of him on social media. Police also seized from them 2.1 million baht cash in a bag, two mobile phones and a notebook computer as evidence.

The alleged extortionists were identified as Nawatkorn Pongassaphon and Vorasart Lailang, they were apprehended by Nonthaburi police at a shopping mall in the city and taken to a police station around 7.30pm on Wednesday.

Both men were charged with colluding in extortion, the Bangkok Post reported on Thursday.

The arrest came after the owner of a food processing company filed a complaint at a Nonthaburi police station.

He said an unidentified person had sent him a message on June 7 via Line chat extorting money “in exchange for deleting your pictures from the past”.

“They are obscene pictures and I will not forward them to other people with malice against you if money is paid. I only want money and do not want to cause damage to you. If you pay, everything ends,”  the message said.

The sender used the word “Kha”, suggesting it was woman.

On June 12, he received another Line chat message, “ 2.1 million baht. I will come to get the money and delete the clip and clear up everything”.

The businessman feared the pictures would be published and would tarnish his reputation. He went to the local police station for help.

On June 16, the victim received another extortion message threatening to post pictures and a video on social media. He alerted the police station.

When he arrived at the shopping mall, as directed, on Wednesday night the two suspects showed up to get the money. They were arrested while counting the cash.

During questioning, Mr Nawatkorn allegedly confessed to the extortion charge, but Cpl Vorasart denied any involvement.  The arrested soldier’s commander was informed and the two men were held in police custody for legal action.

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