Tuesday january 13,2015 : COPS ACCUSED OF KIDNAPPING ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATORS
South Korean illegal operators got more than they bargained for.
Police spokesmen in Thailand have revealed an intriguing case of alleged police corruption involving the kidnapping and ransom of South Korean illegal online gambling operators.
The publication AsiaOne reports that seven police officers are under investigation and will be asked to explain their role in allegations that they demanded 2 million baht (about $81,300) from a group of South Koreans who were busted for operating an illegal online gambling racket.
Police spokesman Lt General Prawut Thawornsiri told local reporters Monday that two of the officers involved hold Inspector rank, whilst the other five are non-commissioned officers; all work in Metropolitan Police Division 5, he revealed, confirming that he had received a report alleging attempts to extract bribes.
"Their supervisor has already been instructed to summon them to testify. If they are found guilty, they will face harsh legal action," Prawut said.
AsiaOne reports that the issue surfaced when a complaint was lodged with the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) last Friday that three South Koreans had been abducted for ransom by the police. A CSD team was sent to the condo address where the three victims were allegedly being held, but found nothing.
However, shortly thereafter the three South Koreans were found at a nearby shopping complex, where they had apparently been released after paying over some of the ransom money demanded by the police officers.
"They said they had already paid some money to their kidnappers," CSD acting commander Pol Colonel Akradej Pimonsri said, revealing that an ongoing investigation suggested the case was related to an operation to crack down on an online gambling den in Bangkok.
"There are records that suspects found at the alleged online gambling den were taken to Thong Lor Police Station and that three more suspects were implicated," Akradej said. In addition to the people who were reported as kidnap victims, there were also two other South Koreans involved, he confirmed.
"Investigators will interrogate all of them," he said.
The South Korea embassy has been in contact with police handling the case.
In a related development, a lawyer for a South Korean lodged a defamation complaint against the three alleged kidnap victims. "My client came forward to help them with bail proceedings. But he ended up being accused of wrongdoing," the lawyer said.