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Police Arrest Frenchman, 58 for Fraud and Extortion



Police Arrest Frenchman, 58 for Fraud and Extortion

Police have arrested  French man for allegedly extorting money from many expats in Pattaya, Thailand by claiming close connections with senior officers.

Mr. Herve Leonard, 58, was arrested on Wednesday at a condominium on Phahon Yothin Road in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district, according to Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, deputy national police chief.

Mr Leonard, 58, was wanted on several arrest warrants issued in Pattaya over the previous two years for extortion, fraud, and coercion.

Previously, the suspect had volunteered to support police activities, giving him the opportunity to pose for photos with numerous police officers.

He reportedly approached foreigners who lived in Pattaya, claimed to have close connections with senior police officers including Pol Gen Surachate and extorted money from them in exchange for his “protection”.

He was arrested earlier, but he jumped bail and escaped. He has been overstaying his visa since September 15, 2020.

To avoid arrest, the foreigner moved every few weeks between Hua Hin, Bangkok, and Pattaya, renting rooms and claiming he had misplaced his passport, according to Pol Gen Surachate.

Detectives tracked the man for about four months before learning his current location and arresting him at a condominium in Bangkok where he had stayed for two weeks, according to the deputy national police chief.

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