By SUPACHAI PETCHTHEWEE
A man who was pretending to be a police inspector named "Jo" has been arrested along with a female accomplice for allegedly extorting money from motorbike taxies around Esplanade Cineplex Ratchadapisek in Bangkok.
Putiset Soisuwan, 40, and Nataya Klinpatum, 25, were arrested at a house in Bang Khen district on Saturday by police from Crime Suppression Division while allegedly in the process of committing extortion.
Pol Colonel Puntana Nuchanart, deputy of the Crime Suppression Division, said the pair was arrested after motorbike taxi-drivers near the Esplanade Cineplex Ratchadapisek complained about the behaviour of a notorious police inspector named “Jo”.
They demanded the return of Bt3,950 that was extorted from each motorbike taxi driver for rental fee, cost of utilities, and a supposed bribe for authorities in the area.
Puntana said the couple was arrested after the police studied their actions and confirmed that they were doing what the motorcycle taxi-drivers had claimed.
He said the duo denied extorting money but did admit to asking the motorbike taxi-drivers to pay a rental fee. They said they were working on behalf of the landlord and denied the taxi-drivers’ claim that they were collecting bribe money for the authorities. The pair said the motorbike drivers may have mistaken them for police due to their close relations with many police officers.
Puntana said the couple had no documents to prove that they were authorised by the landlord to collect money, so the police arrested them and summoned the landlord to provide an explanation.