A 27-year-old man has been arrested by police on blackmail charges after a teen girl committed suicide over his blackmail threats.
Police from the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATPD) arrested Piyabutr Urai-ngam, 27, a call center operator on Thursday morning for allegedly blackmailing teenage girls using photos he captured of them in the nude or wearing cosplay costumes.
One of his teen victims hung herself.
He has been charged with using social media platforms to reap profits from child pornography.
The police team found many files containing nude photos and video clips of teen girls on a notebook computer and on a mobile phone seized from his home.
The arrest came after a police officer’s daughter, aged 14 years, had fallen victim to Mr. Piyabutr on social media. He used a fake Discord account and a fake Twitter account to approach her.
He lured her into sending him photos of herself in the nude in exchange for money.
He then used the photos to blackmail her. He allegedly blackmailed her into video chat calls instructing her to perform lewd acts. If she refused, he threatened to make her naked photos public.
“The teen girl became so stressed out that she hung herself in the bathroom”.
Police investigators worked closely with officers from the ATPD and the Technology Crime Unit in tracking down Mr. Piyabutr. He was found working as a call center operator for a communications firm, police said.
As part of the initial questioning, Mr. Piyabutr admitted he kept video clips of girls on his mobile phone, saying he liked to collect photos of girls dressed in cosplay costumes.
The man denied intimidating or blackmailing any girls.
As a result, police charged the suspect with possessing child pornography for sexual and commercial purposes in violation of Section 287/1 of the Criminal Code and the Computer Crime Act.
According to a police source, the suspect’s computer contained numerous pornographic videos of girls under 15 years of age.
The police had analyzed conversations on his mobile phone and found evidence to support accusations that he drove the 14-year-old girl to commit suicide, hanging herself in the bathroom of her home.
Police said there was sufficient evidence that Mr. Piyabutr had committed similar offenses against at least 10 teen girls aged below 15.
Police said additional charges would be brought later in the investigation over the teen’s death.