Thai police accused of kidnap, seeking $81,300 from Korean gambling group

Thai police accused of kidnap, seeking $81,300 from Korean gambling group

Seven police will be summoned to explain their role over allegations that they demanded Bt2 million (S$81,300) from South Koreans who have illegally operated online gambling services.

Investigators are also set to issue summons for all South Koreans involved in the case.

"Two of the accused policemen are from inspector level. The rest are from non-commissioned ranks. They all work for the Metropolitan Police Division 5," Police spokesman Lt General Prawut Thawornsiri said yesterday.

He said he had received a report that the seven police were involved in the bribery case.

"Their supervisor has already been instructed to summon them to testify. If they are found guilty, they will face harsh legal action," Prawut said.

The scandal broke out after a complaint was lodged with the Crime Suppression Division's (CSD) last Friday that three South Koreans were abducted for ransom. A CSD team rushed to their condo but did not find anyone.

Shortly after, the three South Koreans were found safe at Seacon Square shopping complex.

"They said they had already paid some money to their kidnappers," CSD acting commander Pol Colonel Akradej Pimonsri said yesterday.

He said 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 den was brought to Thong Lor Police Station and that three more suspects were implicated," Akradej said.

He said in addition to the people who were reported as kidnap victims, there were also two other South Koreans involved.

"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.

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